Briones: Trying to remember 9/11

·2 min read

It’s hard to believe it has been 20 years already.

To the clueless, I’m referring to the anniversary of 9/11 when the terrorist group Al-Qaeda found a chink in the United States’ armor and showed the world that the superpower was vulnerable.

Close to 3,000 people died that fateful morning, while 25,000 more were injured.

I don’t have to go to the internet to find out what happened. I was glued to the TV set and watched while everything unfolded.

I remember it like it was yesterday.

Then again, considering that I sometimes forget what took place an hour before only means that my memory may not be as reliable as it was in the past. I mean, I did return to a hardware store to look for my glasses only to be told by store personnel that I was wearing them.

Still, images of people falling off a building are hard to forget.

But hey, it’s not like I have a choice but to rely on my memory. I don’t know what’s wrong with my usually reliable web connection but it has been acting up since I awoke this morning. Maybe it, too, remembered what transpired 20 years ago and is commemorating the tragedy by providing on-and-off service.

I don’t mean to trivialize the event that shook the world but in a nutshell, some terrorists from the Middle East—note that I am not calling them “Arabs” even though they were because I don’t want the ignorant to think that all “Arabs” are terrorists because they are not—hijacked several commercial planes and crashed them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York City and at the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia. Another plane crashed into an empty field in rural Pennsylvania after passengers fought with the hijackers.

Many millennials probably don’t know what my generation lost in the aftermath of the attack, although it’s hard to quantify. I can’t point my finger at it exactly, but it was like 9/11 marked the end of an era.

All I know is, afterwards, air travel and the airport experience were never the same again.

Perhaps, now is the perfect time for today’s generation to sit back and think about how the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has changed their lives. After all, it’s not like they have much to do, considering the many restrictions that remain in place to prevent the spread of the disease. In a way, this health crisis, which has affected the entire globe and not just the Philippines, is their 9/11.

Who knows? Maybe 20 years from now someone will also write vaguely about this current life-changing event because he or she is not connected to the internet and can’t remember all the facts.

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