Eights years ago, I woke up in my little studio in Miami Beach with the news of the terrorist attacks in New York, and the horrendous images of desperate people jumping off the World Trade Center towers, second before the first implosion.
2,996 innocent lives lost. Countless families living in pain, forever. (I wish I had known about this project earlier)
Recently arrived to this country, on Sept.11th 2001, I had been here only fourth months. On May 11th, I had set foot in American soil for the first time in my life.
I had no idea what was going on, I was totally clueless.
Four months into living in the US and you're still barely getting your employment authorization, you're learning to drive, taking English classes - I saw the news right before getting ready to go to my morning class at MDCC-, you still don't know whether I-95 runs South or East, you still feel guilty when buying yourself an ice cream or a pair of shoes you know your family back in Cuba can not have... I was in the middle of all that and, bam!
Eight years after 9/11 have giving me enough time to understand the magnitude of the attacks, enough background to understand the nation we were before, the nation we became on 9/12, and how far from it we are right now.
This morning, while driving to work, I turned the news off and showered myself with some music. Michael Bublé, for some reason that I don't know, always make me feel at peace.
I thought about the families who lost their loved ones. About the murderers at large, about the ones in Gitmo, about the people wanting to treat them like you average gas-station thief...
Then, while wondering what could I do to honor the victims, asking myself "Dear God, what could I write in this blog about 9/11?", North in 1-25, I drove under a bridge.
Up there, all by himself, there was a man waving an American flag. Waving at the drivers that were acknowledging him. I've got geese bumps and a not in my throat.
In a corner of the ramp, a dark pick up truck had flags in every corner of its bed. On both sides of the highway, dealerships had their American and Colorado flags waving at half-pole.
I flashed my car's lights at him, and he waved back. This man that I don't know just reaffirmed my conviction that we must not forget. Never.
And that we have to remember who we are, as a nation, and from where we come. We were bruised by this terrorist attack, but we were not exterminated. We will not surrender.
Now, a very appropriate mood music - lyrics included, for those of us that do not have English as their mother tongue: