|© 2012 Sylvia Liu|
There are few days in my life that I'll never forget, and 9/11 was one of them: my husband was in Manhattan and I was at a meeting a block from the White House when we heard of the attacks. I was six months pregnant with my daughter, and I remember walking 10 blocks back to my office, staring in horror along with everyone else on the crowded and traffic-jammed streets, as we looked at the smoke coming from the Pentagon to the south. It was the first time in my life I felt a personal sense of danger from a terrorist attack (as opposed to muggers and other city dangers). I remember wondering bitterly what kind of world my daughter would be born into, and being angry that everything would be different from then on.
Well, those feelings faded as life went on. Though the country went to war, Homeland Security was set up, color-coded threat levels were created, and 6 ounce bottles of gels were confiscated, I never again felt so personally connected to the world of terrorism. The news today reminds me that American diplomats and troops are on the front lines every day, and that it is very real to them. And it is real to the citizens who live in these war-torn countries. In the world their children are born into, it's not so easy to dismiss violence and terrorism as a sad news story.