On that morning (September 11 2001), 19 terrorists from the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda hijacked four passenger jets. The hijackers intentionally crashed two planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City; both towers collapsed within two hours. Hijackers crashed the third plane into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The fourth jet, United Airlines Flight 93, crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after passengers attempted to take control before it could reach the hijacker’s intended target in Washington, D.C. Nearly 3,000 died in the attacks.
The 9/11 attacks affected not just Americans but the whole world. Today, we remember all the people who passed and pray for those they left behind. People from numerous countries died in the 9/11 attack including Nigerians.
I will share a personal story, a close friend, a fellow Nigerian’s husband worked at Cantor Fitzgerald, a global financial services firm which had its headquarters on the 101st-105th floors of One World Trade Center. As with many firms which trade bonds on various international markets, many employees arrive work early to trade on the international markets.
On the 11th of September 2001, because she had convinced him to go for a party with her the night before, he decided to leave for work later than usual. As he was getting ready at home, they felt their apartment building which was a few blocks from the World Trade Centre shake and they began smelling smoke. When the plane hit, every single one of the 658 employees who were in the office at Cantor Fitzgerald that morning died.
While we thank God for the twist of fate that made him late for work that day, thousands of others died due to the wickedness of a few.
It has become “everyday news” in Nigeria to hear of terrorist attacks in our country. Just this morning, we heard the tragic news of 14 innocent people who were murdered in their sleep yesterday at Vwang Fwil Village in Jos South Local Government Area of the Plateau State. This comes on the heels of the terrorist attack on the United Nations building in Abuja and many more recent attacks.
We must all work together to stamp out this scourge from our society so do not face the tragedy of our own 9/11.
We sincerely pray for all who died in 9/11 and hope that their families have the fortitude to stay strong after this tragedy.