Ten years ago, on Sept 11, it was late at night or should I say almost early morning and I was watching TV alone when suddenly CNN broke the news about the Twin Tower attack. I was shocked that it could happen to a country like the USA. Then when I saw the tower collapsing, I felt it was crumbling, people jumping from the tower and people looking up at them in shock and horror knowing that they couldn't help.
I have not always agreed with some of the US policies that affected our political will and human rights but on that day I wasn’t thinking about imperialism and ideology…I wasn’t an activist rallying for change. I was just a human being shocked by the capacity of people to hate that they can do something so horrendous without any qualms. Maybe they had, but I didn’t see it the first time they hit the tower, nor the second time they did, or when they tried to hit the white House or the Pentagon. They didn’t have qualms about killing some 2,819 innocent people.
Why the video and the pictures of the chairs? The video is because I love what former President Clinton said about the passengers of Flight 93. He commended the passengers because being citizens did not give them the mindset like a soldier who are ever ready to give up their lives in the hope of saving others. But they did because if they didn't then the plane would have gone directly to the White House. And what these passengers gave was an 'incalculable gift'.
The tribute in Bryant Park was 2,819 empty chairs on the lawn facing the site where the World Trade Center once stood, one chair for every life lost. As one noted 'The number of empty chairs captures the enormity of the lives lost and the stark emptiness of it just drives home the point that I hope is never forgotten. 2,819 people were here one moment and gone the next. 2,819 went to work or boarded a plane one morning ten years ago thinking it would be another ordinary day and they never came home.'