It has been nearly ten years since I lost my uncle Tony, and yet deep down inside, my heart still bleeds, especially if I see something on the news about Al Quaeda, terrorists (or terror attacks), or September 11, 2001 itself.
I was only four when my uncle died. He died while trying to rescue others from the North Tower of the World Trade Centers, which were both now on fire. A plane had run into the one; then, right on live television, for all the world, another, bigger plane flew right into the South Tower in a ball of orange-red flame.
It had been a terrorist attack. Who did it was way to early to tell, but right away, the speculations started.
I had nightmares every night for over a two year period. And right away, I had questions: questions about what happened and why, if our uncle was going to be okay, if we'd hear from anyone about him, why those responsible hated America so much, and so on.
Some of those questions are still unanswered even today.
I am no longer a little girl. I am a busy, vibrant, active fourteen-year-old teenager. I try to stay busy, but on holidays like Christmas, the Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving, or on December 11 (Uncle Tony's birthday) or their anniversary (May 5th), and especially on September 11, I cry; I still miss my uncle very much. I remember how he looked like: dark, wavy hair, intense blue eyes, dark skin that honored his Italian lineage.
I also remember how he smelled: like a combination of pipe smoke (black cherry), Old Spice, and Italian cooking. He absolutely loved to cook; as long as he was in the kitchen cooking up Italian delights, he was very happy (and we were too 'cause it tasted so good!).
Every year we go to the anniversary observance of the terror attacks: me, ma, pop, my three little brothers, and our little sister. I feel sad for them 'cause two of them (Ricardo and Amelia) are way too little to understand what is going on, and Ethan is always asking us who Uncle Tony is.
As for Joey, he wouldn't know a thing: see, he is handicapped and can't walk, talk, read, or even feed himself or go to the bathroom on his own. He is eight. He has no idea what September 11, 2001 is (or any other day). Joey is severely handicapped; we often have to help take care of him, since he can't do it by himself.
Anyway, back to my story. Joey, Amelia, Ethan, and Ricardo never knew their uncle, and I was only the age Amelia is now when the attacks occurred. I know Ma misses Tony: he was her older brother. She hasn't really gotten over it and she still has periods of ongoing depression. She has been seeing a therapist for it, but on days like his birthday, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, it's all we can do for her to get out of bed or make it through the day without bawling her eyes out.
And forget September 11th. She doesn't want to have anything to do with it, so the television is off limits unless it's cartoons for the little kids.
Pop has never forgiven the people responsible. He still rages in anger and he has voiced his opinion about how he feels about people who are of Arabic origin. He hates them with a burning, unending hate, and Ma gets mad at him because she's scared that the kids will pick up on his ways. He did go to Iraq, but he came back a bitter, changed man who now must live with awful memories and one leg missing: he got it blown off by a sniper or a bomb blast; we aren't sure: he won't talk about it.
Pop can't stand the current president. He knows that he isn't responible for September 11, 2001, but he "he has an Arabic name, and Arabs, wherever they are, are not to be trusted", he is always saying to us.
I would like to know more about September 11, 2001, but more so about my uncle and why he had to die the way he did. I also wonder if Osama bin Laden will ever be found (the guy is nearly 7 feet tall; how can you NOT find someone THAT tall???), or if the victims (or their families) will ever get the justice (or unanswered questions) they so rightfully deserve.