I was sleeping in bed when the first plane crashed into the WTC building. A friend from Australia called up to let me know what had happened. I was still new to the country and it took me a few minutes to realize the enormity of the situation. As I sat bleary eyed in front of my television another plane crashed into the WTC and after a while another one into the Pentagon. I had a hollow in the pit of my stomach and the whole day was spent chugging cups of tea and watching news updates, calling up relatives and friends in India and US. T came home from work early and we sat in silence, trying to comprehend the horrific events that had started the day.
Days that followed were rife with speculations and war talk. Eight months later when I left to visit family back in India, I had to undergo search of my check-in as well as my carry-on baggage at the security gate. But when my bags were checked a second time at the boarding gate, fellow American passengers nodded sympathetically as they moved on. As the last person to board the plane, they helped me find a place in the already full overhead bin and smiled a reassuring smile.
I have never felt like an alien in the post 9/11 America and I expected nothing less of my country of adoption. I am proud and happy to live in America.
Terrorism has no religion, nationality or race. And no humanity for that matter.
Where were you when it happened?