September 11th Response
The 12th anniversary of the September 11 attacks is approaching. As I reflect over this significant and influential date, a quote comes to my mind. “When the others went swimming, my son said he was going in too. He pulled his dripping trunks from the line…. Languidly, and with no thought of going in, I watched him, his hard little body, skinny and bare, saw him wince slightly as he pulled up around his vitals the small, soggy, icy garment. As he buckled the swollen belt, suddenly my groin felt the chill of
death.” - Once More to the Lake, E.B. White. E.B. White wrote this reflective piece of writing to showcase the fragile aspect of life and dynamic form of memory, especially of the love between father and son. The idea of loving someone so dearly and never knowing when you will be seeing him again struck me.
On September 11, 12 years ago, the Twin Towers tumbled down in just a few hours, creating a blanket of dust and darkness over New York City. In just a split second, more than thousands of lives were innocently lost; thousands of souls were heartbroken and frightened. Cries of pain, loneliness and shock echoed throughout the day. Moreover, a chorus of piercing, chaotic noise from police cars, fire trucks and ambulances rang from the World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan. It was said to be the deadliest incident for firefighters throughout history. The whole city froze. Being just a six-year-old child in Singapore at that time, and just by witnessing the chaos through the TV screen during midnight already gave me the chills in my bones. I could not have imagined being in the city at that moment.
Today, as I walk through Liberty Street, towards the One World Trade Center, I am able to experience the world-known vibrant and bustling aspect of New York City, a stark contrast to the tense state 12 years ago. I look up and see the sunlight being reflected off the roughly finished One World Trade Center, just like millions...