Over the weekend, my 24-year-old daughter asked me if I remember what happened on September 11, 2001. She was about two-year-old at that time, and she wanted to hear some personal perspective from the people who witnessed the tragic events. I do remember so vividly, I responded. I don’t think anyone who was old enough could forget the collapse of the two Towers of World Trade Center. When I turned on the TV that morning, I saw the replay of the first airplane crashing into the first tower of the World Trade Center and nobody knew what to make of the incident. Once the second plane hit the second tower, the news reporters started saying that could be a terrorist attack. Then, the third plane crashed into the Pentagon, and we were certain it was a terrorist attack. I was watching these tragic events unfold right before my eyes and remember my first emotion was disbelief. How could such a tremendous tragedy occur on our own soil? I was glued to the TV for hours, as most Americans were, witnessing the tears, the destruction, and the loss of human life. My emotions turned into sadness and as I was wiping my tears, I started feeling anger. I felt we must do something to help. I contacted our priest, Father Michael Bazzi and shared with him that we are Americans, and our Chaldean Community must do its part to help. Our church dedicated the masses and prayers at St. Peter and St. Michael to the victims and their families. The Chaldean community participated in numerous blood drives and within days blood banks were filled.
I told my daughter that I came to San Diego as immigrant in July 27, 1982, and since that time I have not witnessed any event that had the profound impact on our country as the tragic events of September 11th. Despite all the political discourse that our country has been going on in recent years and despite all rhetoric and divisiveness we will always be united to defend and protect our country no matter what it takes. May God Bless all the fire fighters, policemen, volunteers, and those who lost their lives that day. Your courage and heroism will forever be engraved in our soul.