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.

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