Join me for the Where Were You When? Series and share your story about how major world events impacted your life.
Image Credit: Where Were You? Events That Changed The World 26-episode series graphic
A decade ago I was a new college graduate, renting a room from a family friend, and embarking on a new career path. I was fortunate; when the hijacked planes hit the Pentagon and the Towers, I was surrounded by great friends who helped shoulder the grief, shock, and distress with good old-fashioned escapism. A lot of people have exceptional stories about how the Twin Tower attacks greatly impacted their lives and while my life didn’t change drastically that day, the events opened my eyes to the perceptions that people around the globe hold of Americans.
In the days that followed, the aftermath of the attacks didn’t alter my life largely; things slowly returned to normal, and television returned to regularly scheduled programming. However, America’s role as a world player became more explicit and how we were represented as a government, nation, and people became increasingly clear. I realized that the actions of a few individuals could skew the perceptions of many, thus, it did not take long to make the conscious decision that I wanted to be a part of changing that perception.
I chose to make a difference through service; I volunteered with refugee agencies, increased my knowledge on human rights issues, and 2 1/2 years ago I became a Peace Corps volunteer in Namibia. I used the opportunity to promote a better understanding of Americans to Africans and share my experiences of African cultures and people with Americans. While the tragedy of the terror attacks still weighs heavy on the nation’s collective mind, I hope that one thing that we can take away from this event is that personal interactions, open-mindedness, and embracing different religions is vital to win the “war on terror”.
For another perspective on this day and a new entry into the “Where Were You When?” series visit Kenya’s Expat Extraordinaire blog Yet Another 9/11 Tribute at So Long And Thanks For All The Fish. If you’d like to be a part of this series please drop me a comment so I can share your blog here as well.