Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

A handful of weeds, a heart full of hope

Nathania'€œTanya'€ Aritao '€™12

Dean Vereene Parnell of the Office of Service, Spirituality and Social Responsibility (SSSR) has noted that when it comes to the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, there are those of us who are too young to really remember and those of us who absolutely cannot forget. I fall somewhere in between.

It was nighttime in my native Philippines when the attacks occurred in the United States. I think I had just come home from dance practice. My mom was watching TV. I remember the shock and distress in her voice, how she called us over to see the news. I couldn’t understand what the fuss was about, or how two planes could’ve crashed into the building—I was thinking of the Philippine World Trade Center, a spacious but very low building. I remember sitting in front of the TV, watching the footage, unable to equate what I saw as something real, something current. It seemed too much like a scary scene created for a movie. I sensed that what I was witnessing was significant and world changing, but as a 12-year-old at the time, living halfway around the world, I felt ever so removed from the reality of it.

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