Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 and Me - Inspired by StoryCorps Youtube Videos

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Whenever this date rolls around, most people ask, where were you?

On September 11, 2001, I had just gotten my first graduate job as a teacher in a private school in Abuja. I had also just moved into my first apartment and it was sparsely furnished, so no television. I had a music system but I didn't often listen to the radio except mostly on the weekends. That particular evening, I was writing lesson notes and listening to Celine Dion. As usual the next day, I was at work very early and it was the headmaster that called me into his office to tell me what happened, I was in deep shock. We discussed with the other teachers as they came in and announced it to the children during assembly. Most of them were too young to understand but I couldn't help thinking more and more about it.

It was at an internet cafe after school and on CNN at my aunt's place the next day that I saw the traumatic images, people jumping out windows of their skyscraper offices, the twin towers collapsing, and those on ground zero who saw it happening before their eyes. I watched all these with tears, sobs, and my mouth often open in shock and grief. On Youtube last night, I cried again listening to some StoryCorps videos. The truth is that no matter how much we as all humanity were affected, there were those for whom it was more personal, those who lost family. The woman in the story below received a call from someone who was in the building as it was crashing down.


Someone said memorials for 9/11 are just an opportunity for Americans to bash a religion or a country. I do not agree. I believe it is a time to reflect, on pain, on loss, but mostly on life, love and forgiveness. I remind myself to live life to the full, and to live peace with all people I know. In the video below, a man lost two sons, a firefighter and a policeman who went to join the rescue. He says what gives him peace is that he spoke to both sons hours to their death, and they ended their calls with "I love you." His video also touched me deeply, and I want to say the same to you all reading. I LOVE YOU.

Nowadays, when I think of 9/11, I think of other Septembers. Of 9/11/06, the date of my first flight out of Nigeria for my Masters Degree in Edinburgh. After everything that has happened in the last 5 years, I see that move as very symbolic. Atala and I basically declared our love for each other on 9/11/08 and saw each other for the first time later the same month. And as I write this, he is beside me still. The man in the video below lost the love of his life.


So this post is dedicated to my husband. I love him just as much as I did when I wrote the poem "Ever Yours" three years ago today, and more if possible. HE IS THE ONE.


  1. Oh Myne, you are such a romantic! And I LOVE YOU back for that. You always have a way of regulating the motions of my heart with your art.
    September 11 2011? You don't want to know where I was. If I was in Abuja I might have been in your class *Laughs* :D

  2. wow the videos got me all teary eyed *sniffs*
    We need to keep our loved ones close cos they wont live twice..

  3. Very touching! I remember I was getting ready for work the morning of 911 and had the TV on. They were talking about a plane that had hit the WTC, so I stopped and watched and saw on live TV when the second plane hit the second tower. I was shocked and totally numb.

    I'll never forget the brave people who gave their lives that day: the firemen, policemen, and victims of that horrible act of war.

    Different topic: I'm in your group on the campaign. Just wanted to say hi.


  4. 9/11 is a constant reminder that the world should invest more in promoting peace. Sadly the world is engulfed in more conflicts but we hope we never experience the 9/11 moment in our lifetime. May the families of those who lost their lives find peace.

  5. 9/11...I was in JSS2 then and I watched everything that happened and I cried so much,I kept asking why didnt the pilot refuse to hit the building?....what did I know? yea,you're right,we should spend every moment we have expecting anything. and so you know..I love you too.

  6. Oh Myne, I love you too for this. This was really touching. I remember that day cos I was in the US and it was just about a day or two before we were to leave for Nigeria. When we woke up in the morning, the first thing we saw on the news was the planes crashing into the towers. You can imagine how leaving the country would have been for us in the aftermath of that day.

    Truth is, the world changed after that day and hasn't remained the same ever since. I had never known the threat of terrorism till that day and I still can't understand why someone will need to harm others just to prove a point. But in all, we must always remember the people that were lost, those who sacrificed their lives to save others, the miracles of that day and the importance of peace and love for humanity.

    Thanks Myne

  7. You are a true romantic!!! I love coming on to your blog!!! I should comment more...

  8. 9/11 I was in JSS3 then and I went to a boarding school so I didnt get a chance to watch anythimg. These videos are touching.

    Aww u're so romantic Myne, I want to be like you when I grow up. Love u too...

  9. Love you for this, I skip the part of the pain and painful memories and focus on the love story.

    9/11 like every other tragedy that has occurred is best felt by people who were directly affected. The pain is next to nothing. May the good God grant all the lost ones eternal rest.

  10. those videos were so touching..what a wonderful way to remember the lost ones on this tragic day. May they RIP.

  11. Uhmmm. See how dates bring memories and become land marks in our lives.

  12. I tell you, this is very touching. I agree its very personal to some people... very very personal. For these stories, I think its a pointer to the fact that we have a lot to be grateful for if we are still alive with out loved ones...

    Thanks for sharing these words, ma.

    - LDP

  13. I cant remember what i was doing on that day. I was probably in school or something. But I learnt since then how to say I love you to my family.

    p.s. If there's anything I love about America is how they honor their dead. No life is too small too insignificant to be remembered. Nigeria hasnt even released the name of those who died in the UN attack, Jos, Maiduguri. How can you honor your dead when you haven't made their deaths real? How can you honor someone who you havent given a name. Isn't that what makes us human?

    Thanks for sharing Myne.

  14. Awww... the dedication to your husband is too cute.

    911 makes me think of injustice and inequality in the world, how everything exists as a double standard and the fact that being rich and popular gives you the power to do anything you want oooo and how easily manipulative the human mind is.

    I feel sad for the families that lost loved once on 911, May God heal their souls, But how about the 66,081 Iraqi civilians that have been killed since the war started, where is their justice? that is almost 21 innocent people for every American life that was lost. If this was truly about Osama Bin Ladin, why are they still Killing??. For war, wealth or peace nothing will ever justify the massacre on 911 or the one in the middle East. #Myopinion

  15. Thanks for all the comments. I didn't really want to get to the politics of the whole thing, I'm more touched by the people involved. May all the dead, American, Nigerian, Iraqi and more, who have lost their lives to senseless terrorism, rest in peace.

  16. Well said. The tributes on television yesterday were really touching too.

  17. We love you too Myne... So sad. May it never be too late for us to tell our loved ones how much we love them.

  18. Myne you made me teary-eyed with this(ya it's a big deal). I like your spirit. Nice one here!

  19. @Maggie, that's true.

    @MsTizzle, thanks so much.

    @Micheal, Awww, to you too!

  20. people jumping out of sky scrappers... that was really sad. i cant feel their pain as much as the people directly affected, but i still feel much pain. i think it should serve as a warning to Nigerians who have recently learnt to play their petty politics with lives and property

  21. awww myne this is so sweet *sniff*
    May all those that lost their life rest in peace and may God comfort their loved ones

  22. very sad stories - may theeir souls rest in peace...
    we should celebrate life and appreciate our loves on while we can.

    PS: I finally bought a love rekindled... book #2 on my new kindle :)

  23. Thx for taking the time to visit my Blog.

    I think the real justice of 9/11 will be dealt for the families when this administration finally releases the classified dossier that the last adm. kept hidden.
    These are touching stories and should not go untouched by justice.


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