Opinion Terrorism The Tattoo

Halfway around the globe, tears

SINGAPORE — I woke up this morning and, regrettably, I didn’t have the Monday blues.
Instead, tragic echoes of the American attack haunted me.
I heard the wind howl. Its sad howl paralleled my mood.
Oh, for pity’s sake, here we go again.
The American attack caught me off-guard and broke my heart.
I was right there on ground zero in NYC and Washington only 3 months back.
Koh Yu, my friend, e-mailed me with “Kaishi, to think that tall building (the World Trade Center) we passed by (when in NYC) is a blank place now.”
As I watched Peter Jennings’s ABC special “Answering Children’s Questions” live on TV, I saw the sullen, forlorn and faraway look on children’s faces.
I watched children whose vocabulary now consisted of words like “terrorist”, “hijack” and “death” — children who suffered senseless hurt and had seen death too soon.
I saw faces that read nothing in life is certain or fair.
My heart went out to them and the orphaned children. I imagined the rocks in the path of the orphaned, embarking on a rough trip without the love, warmth and encouragement of a complete family.
Who are we to complain about life being difficult? Who indeed.
No one deserves death. Not 3-year-old Dana Falkenberg on American flight 77, not the 300 missing firefighters who rushed in to help the victims.
As I watched footages of the American flag flown at half-staff, people waving miniature American flags with pride, singing “America The Beautiful” and “God Bless America” with gusto and holding candlelight vigils, I am reminded that, like in the rain, life goes on amidst the colorful umbrellas and faceless strangers.
Just yesterday, I opened my Inbox and read an e-mail by Joyceln, a friend based in NYC, “Hey Kaishi, I’m still in Singapore. My direct friends are ok. But they all know people who were killed. My friend who’s a teacher knows kids whose parents were killed.”
Halfway around the world, tears glistened in my eyes.
I cried.

Kaishi Lee is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.

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