There’ so much that’s been said about that day, but for me it signaled the beginning of a new era.
The events that took place on that day changed not only the way that I looked at the world, but the way that I looked at myself.
On that day I had been living in the Chicago suburbs ( and in the US) for almost exactly six months.
For me, even though I was brand new to this country and opportunities seemed endless, I still yearned for everything I used to know in my home in Mexico City, and found it hard to adapt and accept it as my new home.
I remember sitting in the locker room at my high school changing from my gym clothes, the first class of the day, when our principal announced on the overhead speakers that a plane had crashed into one of the twin towers in New York.
I still remember the echo of the laughter in the room when a couple of my classmates joked about of the possibility of an inebriated pilot crashing a small plane into the building by accident.
I decided to head to the library and check it out for myself, but there, no one was laughing.
As I entered the library, I saw some footage of a commercial airliner crashing into one of the towers.
Many of the students sitting down were holding the hand over their mouths, and shaking their heads in disbelief. I asked one of my classmates if they were still replaying the crash over and over. The time was 8:05, 9:05 New York time.
It took me a couple of minutes to realize that I was witnessing the events as they were unfolding, a second plane had just crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center.
As the bell rang, I went to my algebra class and assumed that the worst was over. I was wrong.
A couple of minutes before the class was over, our principal announced in a very solemn tone that both of the towers had collapsed.
At that point, everyone and everything stopped.
I remember looking at the somber expressions in everyone’s faces as I walked to my locker. To this day, I can still feel the stillness and limbo-like silence that roamed through the hallway like a cold gentle breeze.
As soon as I got home, I found my mother glued to the television and proceeded to join her for the next eight hours or so, until my eyes could take no more.
The scenes that were played over and over possessed my dreams that night, and the next day I could still not believe it.
“It’s all a bad dream,” I said to myself. “That cannot have happened in real life.”
And still, years later, many of us still have trouble figuring out what to make out of these senseless attacks of violence. Some people do it by concocting juicy conspiracy theories, others by trying to find a higher meaning to it.
For me, it signified the end of an era.
That is a day that not only changed the world, but also changed me in many ways that i would not comprehend until years later. Because for the very first time, I found something in common where I could consider myself part of America and the United States my new home.
As I look back in this solemn day, I find comfort in knowing that even though nothing good comes out of violence and nothing ever could, it brought me closer to the good people of the United States, and catalyzed the process in which I accepted this great country as my new home.
That’s the day in which Me and I, became Us.