Loss of innocence

It’s hard to imagine that in one week from today, it will be exactly two years since the September 11 event took place in New York.

This incident has often been touted as THE “loss of innocence” by much of US-based media. Since then, US has been involved in every major terrorist-related retaliatory efforts, which are still on-going.

Yes, it is true that innocence has been lost. However, the loss did not start from this incident alone but much earlier. It’s just that violence was brought closer to home for the Americans, and similarly to other Western nations. Oh, I am not about to argue that America brought this onto herself or anything like that, as some have tried to claim. But I will suggest that we take a step back and consider its global impact and put things into perspective.

People in many countries live daily with violence, the type that we can hardly imagine in our comfy homes in Singapore, Australia, US, etc.

In fact, this sentiment was brought home to me when, quite recently, I asked an Indonesian friend about the bombing which took place in Jakarta. I was a little taken aback by his was surprised by his blas� (to me at any rate) answer: life goes on per normal.

After all, where can people run to? Do they even have the options to run anywhere?

2 comments

  1. September 11 is not a day that i would like to remember, but it is a day that i would never forget. Simply because I was there, about 20 blocks when it happened. I was in school at 845am that morning on 14th street. A classmate came in and said she saw a plane crash into WTC. We thought it was an accident, but when another classmate came in to tell us that she saw a 2nd plane crash into WTC, we knew that it was no accident anymore.

    It was extremely unbelievable and the shock did not sink in for a long time. What we saw on TV and through the school windows seemed like a movie in-making, but gradually we understood it wasn’t. The rush to call home to inform my parents that i was alright, the fear of safety, the loss of lives, the collapse of the buildings, no i believe that for the rest of my life, i’ll never be able to get them out of my head. I had to walk 50 blocks with my classmates to their apt coz’ i couldn’t return to my apt at Brooklyn Heights.

    It’s been two years, but it is unlikely that i will watch any documentary or tribute on Sep 11 for many more years to come. During the initial days following the attacks, my eyes were glued to the TV and scenes of the collapse just filled my mind. The horror, the fear sunk in and i just wanted to return home to Singapore. But all i could do was sit in my apt, live in fear, and often break into tears.

    Life “returned to normal” after a few months , but all our perspectives, all our thoughts and our lives have changed.

    Senseless violence in the name of religion…. the loss of lives, the fear, the horror and the pain…. i doubt God (be it God, Buddha, Allah, etc.) would ever approve.

    New York City, being an extremely cosmopolitan city, consists of many Asians and naturally Americans. The attack “destroyed” just as many Asians, mentally and physically.

    Being there when it happened, nothing can ever justify the cruelty, the loss of lives and the horror and nightmare brought to us. No matter how hard I try to step back to look at the bigger picture, there is no justification.

    As the historic date passes us again in two days, i know that silently i will send my tribute to those who risked their lives on that fateful day and also to those who have passed on. But there is no need for scenes of that day to be broadcasted repeatedly for they’ll always be stuck in my head. No, I do not want the feeling of horror and fear to return.

    There was nowhere to run to…….. not even when I was in New York City. No, we didn’t have the option to run anywhere then, least talk about the Indonesians. That’s how it is.

  2. Thanks for sharing that, Angi. Very, very powerful experiences indeed. I can remember on that fateful night, I had just returned from Tango practice when I saw what I initially thought to be scenes from a new Hollywood movie. The impact of those events really did not hit me till much later in the night.

    I pray that the senseless violence which took place that day will never be repeated again.

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