(Copyright 2001. The Tattoo. All Rights Reserved.)

Making a permanent impression since 1994

Sept. 17, 2001

-- Opinion --

Halfway around the globe, tears

By Kaishi Lee

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.

Teens React to Attack on America