Reflections on a Year's Journey
Readers, from a Shakespearean actor to a Muslim American, describe how life is different for them since Sept. 11.
Daytona Beach, Fla.
On Sept. 1, 2001, I was happily cruising along in life. Dec. 31 would be my last day practicing medicine after 33 years.
In September 2002, my high school in the Philippines would be celebrating its centennial, and I had planned on going to see old friends after 48 years.
Then Sept. 11 came. I still bade farewell to my patients in December, our hearts weighed down in a way that reminded me of John Donne's preaching that no man is an island. The plan to visit my native country vanished like a wisp of smoke.
Here in America, I felt pangs of insecurity for the first time since arriving in 1964. Watching those towering infernos at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon brought back memories of World War II when, growing up in a small town in the Philippines, I first experienced the devastation of my country.
Now I feel better, still anxious but more cognizant of the things that matter most in life family values, love, friendship, and an abiding trust that our leaders will make our nation more secure. America, my adopted country, has become more meaningful to me than ever.
Remigio G. Lacsamana is a retired physician.
My boyfriend, Clark, was pounding on my door. "Turn on the television. The World Trade Center fell."
I stared at him. What kind of joke was this, I remember wondering.
A few weeks later, Clark said he wanted to join the armed forces, but he thought he was too old. I told him to find out. I think I nagged him about it.
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