On the 17th Anniversary of 9/11: A Survivor’s Call for Unity Like most Americans, each September 11th, I reflect on how much our country lost that day; the thousands of lives shockingly, and suddenly taken; and how quickly fellow comrades rushed to aid victims. That fateful day, seventeen years ago, brought out the best in our fellow citizens, but tragically, also revealed the worst. On this September 11th, ironically perhaps, I will be lying in the hospital as my doctors
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Allow me to share a story about this very special person. He’s 12. We’re in our last season of commuting to school together after seven awesome years. On Monday morning, I was feeling groggy & slow. When he asked why, I explained that for much of his dad’s & my life together, outside of the time when we did 4:30/5am turn-taking wake-ups with little people, his dad, got up each morning, brewed coffee, & brought it to me in bed.
A 9/11 hate crime survivor meets Rohingya refugees. In December, I visited the largest and densest refugee camp in the world. In Cox’s Bazar, hundreds of thousands of oppressed Rohingya men, women, and children, the “lucky” ones who narrowly escaped Myanmar with their lives, are now suffering in this camp. Visiting this camp was a life altering experience. Thousands of sickly, terrified, traumatized, and destitute Rohingya people populate an absurdly small area in southeast Bangladesh. I bore witness to their plight.
An eight-month-old cries out while his mother is gang raped by a “security” force and the soldiers silence the baby forever with a stroke of a knife. This is not a gruesome movie scene; it’s part of the ongoing, silent genocide against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. More than 370,000 Rohingya people have already fled and more than 1,000 have been murdered by the Myanmar government since violence erupted. Here is the ultimate insult: Nobel Peace Laureate Aung Sun Suu Kyi,
No one is born to hate. No one is a born a terrorist. People are either taught to hate or have gone through challenges in their lives, desensitizing them to others’ lives, freedom and happiness. Hate and violence do not benefit anyone. Hate causes a lifetime and generations of pain. Heather Heyer’s family and friends. Those whose lives she touched. The police officers’ family, friends and colleagues. The multiple injured victims. The witnesses. The attacker. No one involved in the