9/11 and Me - Inspired by StoryCorps Youtube Videos

Whenever this date rolls around, most people ask, where were you?

On September 11, 2001, I had just gotten my first graduate job as a teacher in a private school in Abuja. I had also just moved into my first apartment and it was sparsely furnished, so no television. I had a music system but I didn't often listen to the radio except mostly on the weekends. That particular evening, I was writing lesson notes and listening to Celine Dion. As usual the next day, I was at work very early and it was the headmaster that called me into his office to tell me what happened, I was in deep shock. We discussed with the other teachers as they came in and announced it to the children during assembly. Most of them were too young to understand but I couldn't help thinking more and more about it.

It was at an internet cafe after school and on CNN at my aunt's place the next day that I saw the traumatic images, people jumping out windows of their skyscraper offices, the twin towers collapsing, and those on ground zero who saw it happening before their eyes. I watched all these with tears, sobs, and my mouth often open in shock and grief. On Youtube last night, I cried again listening to some StoryCorps videos. The truth is that no matter how much we as all humanity were affected, there were those for whom it was more personal, those who lost family. The woman in the story below received a call from someone who was in the building as it was crashing down.


Someone said memorials for 9/11 are just an opportunity for Americans to bash a religion or a country. I do not agree. I believe it is a time to reflect, on pain, on loss, but mostly on life, love and forgiveness. I remind myself to live life to the full, and to live peace with all people I know. In the video below, a man lost two sons, a firefighter and a policeman who went to join the rescue. He says what gives him peace is that he spoke to both sons hours to their death, and they ended their calls with "I love you." His video also touched me deeply, and I want to say the same to you all reading. I LOVE YOU.

Nowadays, when I think of 9/11, I think of other Septembers. Of 9/11/06, the date of my first flight out of Nigeria for my Masters Degree in Edinburgh. After everything that has happened in the last 5 years, I see that move as very symbolic. Atala and I basically declared our love for each other on 9/11/08 and saw each other for the first time later the same month. And as I write this, he is beside me still. The man in the video below lost the love of his life.


So this post is dedicated to my husband. I love him just as much as I did when I wrote the poem "Ever Yours" three years ago today, and more if possible. HE IS THE ONE.