Tue. May 21st, 2024

By Sheikh Moussa Drammeh

I’m so sorry for the lost of your loved ones…, I’m really, really sorry…This is how I felt strolling down this morning on the impeccable grounds of former Twin Towers in my long Muslim garments, and I was one of only three physically identifiable Muslims among the silent throng of  eleventh 9/11 memorial mourners.

The incapable guilt of being a Muslim there, couldn’t escape any onlooker’s stare on my face. My mental apologies continued on with every passing individual, whether that person was a firefighter, a police officer, a politician, a visitor or an ordinary mourner. While I was walking about on this sacred ground, I had a terrible feeling imagining seeing hardworking innocent New Yorkers jumping out of the top floors of the twin towers.

Even though many New Yorkers, especially Muslim New Yorkers, want the painful memory of this tragedy fade away, still the overwhelming destructiveness of 9/11 evil can never be buried, ever.

Unfortunately, the more my fellow Muslims try to remind me to not associate this devilish action with Muslims, the less I’m able to separate them. If the nineteen alleged individuals along with other suspects in captivity are all Muslims, how it is possible for me then to separate one from the other, I always asked myself.

How is it possible to destroy the lives of firefighters, police officers, civil servants and first responders in the name of anything except the devil? People who wakeup each day to serve us and are willing to sacrifice all on our behalf.

First responder’s instinct. While loved ones, including children who never had the chance to enjoy birthday celebrations with their dads, were reading the names of over 2900 family members we lost on this day eleven years ago, an older lady in the crowd needed some medical attention and one of the first persons to come to her assistance was none other than Hon. Raymond Kelly. The Police Commissioner was with the lady until the medical technicians arrived and did not leave until they put her on the wheelchair.

This is a commissioner whose force lost hundreds of members on 9/11, and yet his major concern was the well being of this old lady he had never met before. This neighborliness displayed by the commissioner is the character of most Americans which terrorists refuse to acknowledge.

One positive change in this year’s anniversary is that for the first time the 9/11 memorial was politics and campaign-free event. The people who deserve to express their feelings did so without interruptions from politicians. The only sign of political leaders’ presence there was seeing those huge muscular guys towering above all except the Public Advocate, Hon Bill De Blasio.

Finally, a point of comfort for me comes from one of my motivational speaking lessons that says “what happen in our lives only accounts for about five percent, and nine five percent of the remainder is how we react to what happen to us”.  This is a small comforting tool whose time couldn’t be more beneficial to me today.

God bless the United States and may God have mercy on these innocent souls!



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