Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11

Sadly, I didn't notice what day it was until I saw Bayne's post. What a day this is... I'm sure everyone remembers exactly what they were doing when this happened.

As most of you know, I grew up in Japan. My family still lives there. And growing up, I went to an international school so I grew up with English and Japanese at the same time. Why did my parents choose to put me in an expensive private school? It's not because they are filthy rich or because they like to toss money around. It's because they knew that English was the language of the future. That if you wanted to be successful in business, learning English was paramount. And actually, in Japan, you see that... not back then, but today. Tons of kids and adults, taking night classes to learn English. So, my parents were ahead of their times.

Actually, my mom was very much ahead in that sense. When she was growing up, Japan was a very old school culture where women were expected to marry someone and be your typical housewife. Well, my mom wanted no part of that. She was ambitious and very diligent. After she graduated high school, she pretty much ran away from home, worked in a factory at night so she can put herself through college. One of the most prestigious women's college in Japan. She also taught herself English because she knew that as a woman, she was already at a disadvantage so she knew that she had to equip herself with more skill in order to even be in the same league as a man. She's been successful because of her drive but this story isn't exactly about her. I remember when I was growing up, one thing she told me was that the way she taught herself English was listening to JFK. Now, no matter what you think of him, she really liked him as President. And so she would listen to his speeches, translate them, and practice herself. And because she used him to learn the language, she also remembered exactly where she was and what she was doing and the emotions that hit her when J.F.K. was shot. Why? Because that was the first time that there was an international live broadcast on TV. In other words, this man that she's listened to on the radio over and over was now on live TV... and of course, that fateful day, he was shot. And so she remembers everything about it.

Well, I think 9/11 is that for the younger generation who wasn't around when JFK was shot. It was a very sad day and in a sense, I think the terrorists were successful in doing what they did. This country has been split a lot more since that happened. I mean everyone talks about being united but in reality, I feel that it's been a lot more split than it's been before.

Few years after 9/11/01, I was up in NYC for work and I visited ground zero. I almost cried. It was amazing to see the site. It was more powerful than words can describe. There was a wall with tons of cards, well wishes, etc from people all over the world. Again, I really can't describe it. Thinking about that wall still makes me emotional. I wasn't personally affected by 9/11 in that I didn't know anyone who was on the plane or in the building. I have friends in NYC but they were all ok. There were two girls on one of the flights that I knew from back home but again, they were nothing more than acquaintances so as much as I feel bad for them and their family, it was not something that directly affected me. And yet, I'm standing by this piece of plywood wall with tons of well wishes from everyone and I am doing everything I can to hold back tears. It was just an amazing experience.

If anyone ever thinks that people can't be united because of all the differences and that people don't understand, they just need to take a look at that wall. People from all over the world were doing what they can to help. Would any of these well wishes bring back the lives that were lost that day? No. Would it make it any easier on the families and the survivors? Probably not. But still people do it. Why? Because we care. Because no matter how much you disagree with the person next to you, we all care about each other. Freedom is one thing we should all treasure. And the fact that we can take freedom for granted makes us very lucky. And I guess that's one good thing that came out of 9/11 for me. At least it's given me one day where I can sit and remember that no matter how good or bad things are going for me, I am a very lucky man.

6 comments:

lj said...

i am tearing.

BigPirate said...

Thanks!

bayne_s said...

Nice post.

Was more steamed at FullTilt RNG last night than at you.

SubZero said...

Well said.

jamyhawk said...

great post.

Sia said...

Kind of puts poker in perspective doesn't it. . .

-PouringReign