How I Recall What Happened on the 9/11 Attack on America

by DR. SURESH KURL September 9, 2016

September 11, 2001, Tuesday was just another day to wake up to get ready to go to work. As usual, after breakfast, while I waited for my wife in the lobby to say her good bye and go to work, I turned on the TV to catch up with the latest morning news without turning the volume up. I noticed two towers engulfed in flames, but could not figure out their location.  

My wife came down to bid me good bye. I asked her, "Please watch the news and give me the details about those burning towers. I will call you from work," I said.

As soon as I entered my office Joanna, my office manager asked, "Did you see what is happening in New York?"

"No. I didn't. Please tell me what is happening in New York?'

"The trade Centre is on fire," she responded.

As we did not have a TV in our office I turned the radio on. I heard it, but did not feel satisfied. The reporter was doing his best but his reporting wasn't enough to compensate for the visual. Then, I heard loud voices of the people gathering in front of the US Consulate down below on the street.

"Oh boy," I said aloud and phoned Tripta.

She told me, "The twin towers in New York are on fire. They are showing two airplanes flying into them over and over again.  I watched a man falling out of the window; perhaps he was trying to escape. It's awful...very awful," she repeated.

"Those two towers standing side by side were the highest buildings in New York. Who would do such a thing? What is the media saying about it?" I asked. 

"It happened around 8:30 this morning, there time, when we were still in bad, sleeping. You know New York is 3:30 hours ahead of us. They were passenger planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175. Somebody hijacked them and flews them into the north and south towers," she shared.

"My God, those planes must be full of passengers and their tanks full of gasoline. They were domestic flights," I speculated.  

In about an hour Tripta called again. "The towers are not the only buildings on fire. These criminals, who ever they are, hijacked another American Airlines Flight 77 and crashed into the US military headquarters in Washington DC."

"You mean Pentagon," I asked for clarification, "My God, world's most powerful country is under attack and nobody knows who is attacking it," not expecting any response from Tripta I said aloud. 

About an hour later Tripta called again.  "They hijacked one more plane -- United Airlines Flight 93 and crashed it somewhere into a field in Pennsylvania."

"My stomach is hurting. I cannot bear it any more," I told Tripta and put down the receiver. When my anxiety level goes up my stomach hurts.

What was happening in America reminded me of my childhood pre-and-post partition days of Indian Independence. Those were frightening times of fires burning all around.

I started thinking of earthquakes, wild fires and Tsunamis. We have no control over such calamities, but high jacking of the US planes from the US airports and using them as bombs against the US was not sitting well with me.

"...How could this happen? What was the Airport Security doing? Who are these criminals? They cannot be US Citizens. Where did they come from? How did they enter the country and high jacked four planes like four automobiles parked on a deserted street? This will be the second attack since Pearl Harbour," I kept self-talking. I noticed my stomach ache was gone. 

"Would you like a cup of coffee?" I noticed Joanna standing at my door with a cup of coffee.

"Thank you Joanna," I got up and took that cup from her hands.

News kept trickling, drip by drip hour by hour; all day. Seemed no one did any work that day.

After a few days I learned the terrorists involved were 19 Al Qaeda trainees from four different countries. They were groomed by Osama Bin Laden and nursed on hate and vengeance against the United States.  

This year marks the 15th anniversary of that tragic event AKA 9/11. Since then, both Bin Laden and the Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein, suspected of developing and hiding weapons of mass destruction, have been killed. However, not much seems to have changed. Hate, violence and vengeance are still alive and kicking under new merchants -- ISIS, BOKO HARAM and Al SHABAB and so on.  All I can do is to pray for their end.       

Dr. Suresh Kurl is a former university professor; a retired Registrar of the BC Benefits Appeal Board and a former Member of the National Parole Board.

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