9/11 Remembrance: Resilience, Gratitude, Relationships and LoveSep 11, 2021
It was an evening on September 10, 2001. I watched "Life Is Beautiful" film directed by and starring Roberto Benigni, with my wife Nevenka and our son Zlatan. We laughed, we cried. The evening I will never forget.
The following day, I head out to work. As usual, I was taking the F train from Seventh Ave Train station in Park Slope to Manhatten, my office. I worked for KPMG Consulting, and my assignment with Trade.com - a downtown office by the World Trade Center was about to end.
Unfortunately, we all know what happened that terrible day, September 11, 2001. So today, 20 years later, I am sadly thinking of my friends and colleagues who lost their lives and 2,763 families who lost their loved one.
After the attack, everything stopped in New York. Crowded streets with no usual New York noise. All you can hear is people crying. Nobody was even talking. If they did, they would do it quietly.
Subway, busses, bridges, cell phones - the city was shot down. At the moment, there was no way to find out if my family was ok. People were whispering about other attacks. Is my family safe in Brooklyn? My son was in school. Is he safe over there? How will he get home? Is there any way I can get closer to Brooklyn?
And then I remembered, "Life is beautiful." A movie I watched the night before. I thought of Guido Orefice, a Jewish Italian bookshop owner who sacrificed so much in the concentration camp to find his wife Dora and save his son Giosue. The least I could do for my family was to walk from midtown Manhattan to Brooklyn. But the Bridge was closed for all the traffic—even pedestrians.
That should not stop me - I was thinking of keeping moving and wait there until the Bridge gets open. But what if I get on the Brooklyn Bridge, and they attack the Bridge? That is the risk I was more than willing to take.
Slowly, subways, busses, and few cars started moving across Manhatten and toward Brooklyn. The Bridge opened, and I got home safely. My wife and son were safe. She got him out of school somehow.
When I got home, of course, all we did was watched Live TV. Although I saw with my own eyes both Towers coming down, when I was rewatching these moments, I was yelling, "this did not happen." My wife was trying to come me down - Sorry, Braco. It did happen. Don't you remember? You saw it with your own eyes while you were there.
It took me 20 years to put this on paper. There is so much more to say, but I am still not ready to write or talk more about it. Yesterday, I wanted to, but I was not ready to watch the latest documentary about 9/11. Just like I was not prepared for 20 years to go back to my country, Bosnia, that was destroyed by "terrorists."
But when life gets hard, regardless of the circumstances, I will think of Guido and do whatever it takes to assure my family, friends, colleagues, city; and my country is safe.
To 2,763 people killed at the World Trade Centre attack, their families, friends, colleagues, co-workers - We Will NEVER Forget!
Braco Pobric is an Internationally Recognized Positive Psychology Expert and Corporate Trainer. He is the bestselling author of Habits and Happiness: How to Become Happier and Improve Your Wellbeing by Changing Your Habits. Braco is a founding member and Chief Happiness Officer of the Life Success Academy Certified Positive Psychology Master Trainer and former globally Certified Trainer and Business Coach for Dale Carnegie Training. He trained over 60,000 Students in 172 countries.
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