It is still a shock to realize that today marked twelve years after the September 11 attack. It was an event that I could still remember as though it happened not long ago. Nonetheless, it would be puzzling as you thought I might not be able to feel much impact, being on the other side of the planet by the time one of the biggest tragedy took place twelve years ago. But, it did!
I was, then, a mere Form 1 student. Everything on this earth was so simple, I went to school that day and was excited because I get to have lunch with my parents that afternoon. We had late lunch so that everyone could make it. We travelled all the way to a food court in Seberang Jaya and I had my favourite Yam Rice with soup. We were halfway through the meal when we saw the television flashing about buildings. My parents were staring at the screen, but I did not understand. I thought it was the usual special effects people had on the telly. I continued my meal until I realized it was not a movie – it was a news.
My mind worked very simple that time. I thought it might be some natural disaster. None of the moment, that ideas flash across my mind telling me it was a manmade or intentional tragedy. I could still remember the newspaper uncles were walking around the food court and public, giving out newspaper for free. FREE! Yes, something is wrong, definitely wrong, terribly wrong – when the newspaper company are giving out free papers. I knew something very bad happened. But I did not understand.
September 11 attack may not have brought the immediate impact on me, but it became the event that made me grew up, perhaps a little. Later that day, I started to learn what happened, trying to understand a world so mad that I could not understand why what is done is done – or what said to be done is done and why? Of course, there were talks, articles, news, everything about the incident – everything. Slowly, I get more and more information about what happened. In fact, this event led to so many things that came after that, and shaped the world today. I grew up a teenager who know what is terrorism, who saw how human would rather be mean to be safe, who saw how countries trying to protect their own people with whatever measures they have. Not only that, I grew up a human being who is more sensitive to news like these.
I had no idea if the world was like that before 911, but I definitely noticed more things happened after that. What appeared on the news were bombs, terrorism, blast, riots, politicians, war, troops. We had World War I, we had World War II, and we pledged not to have a third one, because we had seen through these – the best and worst of humanity. But still, I think, the world could have been a much peaceful place given the chance. Why make the water ripple, when you could enjoy the calmness of water and through that, you could see more clearly what is inside the water…