The legacy of 9/11

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On September 12, 2001, the Granma newspaper recorded in two full pages a fact that dyed of red the headlines in the press of the entire planet: the terrorist attacks of the previous day in the United States. One of the articles was by the Cuban narrator and journalist, Marta Rojas.
A copy of that date still sleeps in my papers, and every time I return September I dust it off, I look at the magnificent New York buildings surrounded by flames, and reflect on how humanity was never the same again.

A few hours after that event, described by Granma and other Cuban newspapers as a “dramatic episode that shocked the world,” the number of victims was still inaccurate, material damage was incalculable, unforeseen the course of hatred, revenge, unsuspected, racism, xenophobia.

Less than a year later, we learned from the statistics of the US Department of Health, that among the 247 Latinos who died due to the Al-Qaeda attack on the Twin Towers, there were six Cubans.

Many other revealing details were released later that put into question national security, the architects who designed the mutilated buildings of the World Trade Center and even President Bush.

Then the invasions to Afghanistan in 2001 and to Iraq in 2003 were ordered with an incalculable human balance, but that as wars at last, also devastated with the infrastructure and the cultural heritage of those nations, while the sense of justice and confidence seemed buried in the darkest pit.

The legacy of this attack also stands out, the state of permanent alert in which the world has been maintained since then: any act of violence can carry the stigma of terrorist beforehand, while at risk of the same qualifier, who comes from the Middle East or practices Islamic religion, especially in the United States.

An omen of the painful pages that would be written in the future, was sighted by a Cuban photo reporter, whose name I do not remember. He captured in those days an image that was published in the Bohemia magazine.

I have this photo fixed in my memory, it was a deserted street in Manhattan: the unusual thing in the “city that never sleeps”, and that contrasted with the gigantic movement generated around the later named, Zone Zero.

The warning was clear, in my view that emptiness foreshadowed that fear would be the worst of the plagues it would face and that humanity must overcome at all costs.

Translated by Ada Iris Guerrero

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