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9/11 – 20 years after

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Last week, I was a bit puzzled when people in the news outlets kept repeating references to 9/11. I knew it was an important date, but the occasion evaded me for a while. And then it flashed back suddenly! It was that abominable day when suicide plans intentionally hit two high-rise buildings in the very heart of New York City, causing not only destruction, but also loss of lives, many of them are young people working in the hundreds of offices within them!

***

Who could ever forget 9/11, or, to be more specific, for the young people who weren’t born yet, or too young to remember? Who will ever forget, having watched repeatedly on TV the footages taken of those planes intentionally hitting two of the city’s skyscrapers. It was a horrible, horrible sight nobody could understand! Why would pilots go on that suicide mission, if they were not demented, or had been hypnotized into doing it? Was it an indication that some foreign powers – had sent the mission as a warning to the United States?

***

But of course my family’s shock and horror were so much on who did it and who ordered it, but more on a personal reason. We had some relatives, close ones at that, who were working in those buildings, or in neighboring ones. For one, we knew that Peachy, daughter of my brother Pros, was working in that very area! Oh dear Lord, we found ourselves praying, Spare our niece and, if possible the building where they were working that I knew very well was close to the targeted ones.

***

What a relief it was to hear from her later and listen to her description of what they went through. It seems most of them, probably mindless after the shock, just fled out of their offices and started running away. As she ran, Peachy lost one of her shoes and had to take off the other one to be able to run faster. Fortunately, a lady in a store she passed called her and gave her a pair of shoes! How grateful we felt for that, but she doesn’t locate here benefactress later. That made me believe that there still Good Samaritans even in this hardboiled generation!

***

I learned from news reports that appropriate ceremonies were held recently to mark the event on its 20th anniversary. I hope all the survivors and the families of victims remember to pray for them on every anniversary – for the souls of the unfortunate ones, and in thanksgiving for the survivors. And add to their prayers the petition that such incident never happens again, not only in the United States, but all throughout this world!

***

Until now, I haven’t come across any reports about perpetrators, or confessions from anyone of them, if more than one person had been involved. To think that it happened 20 years ago, and yet, recollections are still vivid in the minds, not only of those who went through it, but also in the memories of their loved ones who continue to remember them and offer prayers for their souls. By the way, I forgot her name but there was a girl from Bacolod, I heard later, who also worked in one of those buildings and arrived – only to watched her office area aflame.

***

Meanwhile, I hear that some local schools have started classes, with others are also set to open soon. I hope their administrations will not encounter like those in the United States where there is a big to-do over the wearing of masks, with some parents not in favor of it and some school administrators insisting on it. Couldn’t their local officials resolve the matter? As to why parents would object to such a simple, inexpensive, and accurate protection it can offer, I think there is no doubt. Haven’t their city, or State officials taken a stand on it?

***

It is heartening to hear, though, that people in our city and province are very cooperative as far as the drive for vaccinations against this COVID pandemic is concerned. Maybe we are the only city and province where health workers perform their duties day and night to see to it that as many residents as possible are vaccinated. It is just a little prick of the needle, but it could save you and your folks from a lot of woe. So, don’t be stubborn, this COVID is something that is not in the specialization of the corner “manug-luy-a”, or herbolarion!*

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