The Mexican Gilberto González was five years old when a news story on television in his native Guerrero showed bloody images of an attack on the city of NY, a place I only knew about in movies at the time. Although he was very young, he remembers “as if it were yesterday” how his parents shook with panic, because many of his uncles lived and worked at that time in the Big Apple.
The news that paralyzed the world was nothing less than that during the morning of that September 11, 2012, two planes, They had crashed into the famous Twin Towers in New York, generating fire and destroying the structures. In the first ones, nothing was known. The number of victims was also not clear. Much less if it was an accidental event or an attack.
“I clearly remember the images and reports on television about the towers. I don’t think anyone can forget that day. It was like thinking that a world war was starting”says Gilberto, 22 years later, at the 9/11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan, the same place that more than two decades ago, he observed with the eyes of a child through the screens, as if it were a horror or science fiction movie.
Fortunately, none of Gilberto’s relatives were even close to the attack.
Now when he visits the capital of the world for the first time, he went to the now famous memorial park that he describes as impressive, but he does not fail to recognize that There is an “atmosphere” different from any other place in the city. city of skyscrapers.
“It’s very exciting to be here. Time passes and there is still an atmosphere of sadness. It is interesting to come and know that this disaster existed in this same place, nearly 3,000 deaths in a matter of minutes. That should remind us that life is that fragile. That is why we must live it. We are here talking, thinking that we have a future. And perhaps it is our last day,” said the Aztec tourist.
Despair in the distance
According to a survey conducted between USA Today and Suffolk University between 60% and 38% of respondents nationwideconsider that the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, which left nearly 3,000 dead, changed the lives of Americans forever.
And so it was for the Californian Raquel González, who brings to the present that at the time of the attacks he was in Los Angeles, where he currently lives. This retiree also visited the 9/11 Memorial for the first time this year with a group of friends.
“That day I felt desperate, because I felt that the entire country was at risk and under attack. I think that regardless of whether you were near or far, It was a terrible feeling to know that man is capable of planning such bad things.“, commented who was 54 years old at that time, who divided the history of the country into two parts.
Since those terrible hours, the world has changed a lot, Raquel interprets, next to one of the immense waterfalls, which Today they occupy part of the perimeter of one of the buildings that were destroyed.
“This place has a strange energy. I always dreamed of coming to New York and part of my itinerary was to visit this place. It is difficult to assume that in this beautiful park, with so much peace, years ago it was the scene of almost hell.“, said.
That morning of September 11, the United Airlines Flight 175 and American Airlines Flight 11 took off from Boston, bound for California, when the kidnappers crashed them into the north and south towers of the World Trade Center.
American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. Meanwhile, passengers tried to prevent United Airlines Flight 93 from crashing. by kidnappers in Pennsylvania.
In addition, Eloisa Ruiz, resident of Los Angeles, came to New York to encounter one of the moments you put on the list, as one of the most “stressful” of his existence.
“It aroused a lot of anxiety to think that they were all going to attack us. Especially in big cities. This fact not only mourned the families who sadly had affections there, but also our entire country,” reflected Eloisa, as she looked toward the horizon. to encounter the memory of people falling from buildings to save themselves from the flames. A sequence of scenes of pain that marked her, when she was 54 years old.
In another sense, The Puerto Rican, Miguel Zabala, is 65 years old today, and was living in Harlem when the attack occurred. Over time, she has seen the evolution of the so-called ‘Ground Zero’ and does not forget the horror he experienced as a New Yorkerwhen that morning terrorist minds dealt an accurate blow to one of the emblems of the capital of the world.
“I think that after this, the worst thing we have experienced is the pandemic. Where obviously more people died. I always think, in these days of commemoration, that there were many who were unjustly murdered, but today the massacres due to wars, genocides and attacks of all kinds continue in many countries, such as in Africa. And no one finds out, because they are not famous sites,” she reasoned.
At the same time, Zabala, as a New Yorker, thinks that those security policies that were created to shield the country from terrorist cells and dangerous factors, “they are completely relaxing.”
“When you observe that thousands of people enter through the border with Mexico, who do not even clearly have identification, to check exactly where they come from and what their names are, you feel that there is great fragility in the country. I think there is a political struggle that is fought at two extremes. And both sides are dangerous. I pray to God and my saints, that it is not because of a new attack, that those who enter the country through the borders are better regulated,” said the islander.
They keep dying
Twenty-two years after the deadliest terrorist attack in United States history, and based on reports, rescuers and officers, “continue dying.”
To date, many members of the Fire Department (FDNY) They continue to report illnesses related to 9/11. In the last year, 43 deaths have been confirmed.
As expressed by the FDNY Commissioner Lauren Kavanagh: “That attack continues to claim lives. They are the ones who spent a lot of time in the ruins of the towers, searching for possible survivors and then, tracking down body parts and any evidence to identify the victims”.
In fact, this week the FDNY, again, added a flag for each of its now-retired members that, 22 years later, they died from illnesses that medical science has systematically linked to these events.
Each was named in a memorial garden in Brooklyn. And each received an American flag: 331 of them are now in the garden.
It is projected that within a year, the number of fire officers who have lost their lives in recent years will likely will surpass the members who died around the time of the attacks.
Two new victims identified
New York City also confirmed this week that two other victims of the worst have been identified. terrorist attacks from the history of the Big Apple.
In this sense, a man and a woman become the 1,648th and 1,649th persons identified by the City’s medical examiner, through advanced DNA testing of their remains. Their names are being withheld at the request of their families.
Despite forensic advances, efforts to identify the remains of these victims have virtually stopped in recent years. These two positive findings are the first since September 2021. The last identification was made in 2019.
There are more than 1,000 human remains from this tragedy that have not been identified. They are currently stored at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.
Dr. Jason Graham, the city’s chief medical examiner, said officials were committed to keeping their promise to return the remains of all the victims of the attack.
“This is a forensic investigation. largest and most complex in the history of our country“We remain steadfast in our mission to use the latest scientific advances to deliver on this promise,” Graham said.
Activities of this 9/11:
- The National September 11 Memorial and Museum will host its annual commemoration ceremony this Monday in honor of the thousands of men, women and children killed in the 2001 attacks.
- The activity will be for the families of the victims, who once again have been invited to participate in the reading of this year’s names.
- Organizers said family members will meet once again in Memorial Square to remember your loved ones.
- Throughout the ceremony, six minutes of silence, coinciding with the moment in which each of the World Trade Center towers was impacted and fell, and the times corresponding to the attack on the Pentagon and the accident of United Airlines Flight 93.
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