Twenty-two years have passed by from that terrible day that changed the life of every single American, the United States, and all the world. Not one year will pass without remembering what happened on September 11, 2001. Time flies but the images of the Towers collapsing are with us forever.
I remember I was living in Italy, I was 11 years old, it was 3 o’clock in the afternoon, I was home doing my homework and my mom was doing a private lesson, while the phone rang. It was my aunt Anna that was upset and screaming on the phone asking to speak to my mom. I gave my mom the phone and I knew something was wrong but I didn’t understand what. I remember she suddenly switched on the tv and we saw a plane crashing into one tower and there was a lot of smoke around. “They attacked America” this was what I heard from the phone. A couple of minutes later the first tower crashed to the ground and the second plane went into the other tower. Everything happened so quickly that it was very hard to understand what was going on. I was too young; I didn’t know why the plane hit the tower but I could remember that something very serious and terrible had just happened. Then, the second plane, after crashing into the tower, collapsed, my mom stood there in silence, shocked. On the same day another two planes were hijacked, as well. It wasn’t an accident… it was something planned in the minimum details. It was a nightmare. It was a tragedy. America was under a terrorist attack.
I always had a particular closeness with this day, a sense of vicinity with 9/11, I remember growing up watching many documentaries, watching movies about the Twin Towers, and reading about witnesses who lost family members, people that innocently lost their lives, and how their lives changed forever. Every year during this day, I turn on the tv and I watch the program in which people pronounce the names of the 2996 people that lost their lives, as a way to be closer to all Americans. I have a special bond with this country, and this connection is because I’m half American. This closeness became more and more profound when in 2010 my family and I went to see 9/11 memorial. It stood there in the middle of the chaotic city; the 9/11 Memorial is a place that transmits a strong emotional impact where an atmosphere of peace and silence reigns. The peacefulness you can feel in that touching place is light years away from that chaotic area of Manhattan. Walking inside the memorial you can feel the strong emotions that are aroused by the memory of the great loss of life that happened due to the largest terrorist attack that has ever occurred in the United States of America. Exactly in the same place where the Twin Towers stood, two large Reflecting Pools were built, the water constantly flows around a metal grey structure which gives a sense of eternal peace. On the bronze panels surrounding the two pools the names of all those killed in the terrorist attacks were inscribed, including victims in Washington and Pennsylvania. There stands the Survivor Tree, called in this way because it stood up and survived the terrorist attacks. The air, the tree, and the reflecting pools that surround 9/11 Memorial gives us strong emotions: peace, memory, and reflection.
Today, after 22 years:
I would like to remember all those people who lost a family member: a father, a mother, a child, a husband, a wife, a friend.
I would like to remember all the firefighters that served the nation, trying to save more lives possible losing theirs, but dying as heroes.
I would like to remember their courage.
I would like to remember the lives of almost 3000 people, that came from all over the world, Italians, Americans, Spanish, French, Egyptians, Chinese.
I would like to remember those people who had to grow without a mother, or a father, or a grandparent.
I would like to remember all those people that were working in the towers, and decided to jump from the windows because their exits were blocked.
I would like to remember those that had breathe so many toxic substances and survived the attacks but died of cancer.
I would like to remember those that were in the highest floors and there was no way down and they tried to call their relatives for a last goodbye.
I would like to remember all those people that received phone calls from their loved ones in planes or from the Towers telling them goodbye and listening to their voices for the last time.
I would like to remember all those people that lost their lives…they will always be remembered.
I would like to remember the generosity of every single American during and after this tragedy.
I would like to remember the lives of those who survived and are living with nightmares and those who are living the rest of their lives without a family member.
I would like to remember those who feel like miraculous survivors who had to be at work or on those planes but were late, and they survived.
America that day changed, but all nations tried to mourn together the lives of friends, relatives, and strangers.
Never take anything for granted and remember that in one single moment life can totally change. “As you live and enjoy the breaths you take today and tonight before you go to sleep in preparation for your life Tomorrow, kiss the ones you love, snuggle a little tighter and never take one second of your life for granted”