This will be my first post-2001 September 11th outside America. A few days ago I came across an article about this solemn American day – and the floodgates to my memories rushed open. When it happened, I was not officially American; but we loved one another just the same. We had adopted each other. So the fact that that Tuesday still makes me indescribably sad comes as no surprise.
When it happened all Americans felt a moment’s pause. Everything stopped. For days following the massacre a certain numbness descended into every walk of life. A somberness overcame classrooms; a concoction of melancholy and rage infused into bars and restaurants. Few could see beyond vengeance.
Thirteen years later, through memory lanes of retributions and mistakes, America continues to rebuild its pursuit of happiness. Each year it mourns the murder of innocence; it remembers the fragility of life and the strength of conviction – and then it picks itself up by its bootstraps and goes back to work.
For this, with each passing year, with each memorial and life-story, I become a prouder American. 9-11 did not keep us down; it saddened us beyond repair and enraged us beyond justifiability – but it did not keep us down. We find strength in the memories of those we lost; we find reason to better ourselves.