Bosnia us 9/11 anniversary
Location: Sarajevo, Bosnia
September 9, 2011
US Marines lower the flag of The United States of America to half staff in front of the US embassy in Sarajevo, marking the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on New York and Washington, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on Friday, Sept. 9, 2011.
I was suppose to by flying to Bosnia on 09/14/01 when the terrorists attacks happened on 9-11. I wasn't sure when flights were going to resume again and I kept waiting watching when flights resumed, first domestic flights and then international ones after my flight date. People encouraged me not to go if the flight became available but I said there is not place in the world I would rather be than in Bosnia. Alas my flight was cancelled and I recheduled it for the next September and I was there on the one year anniversary.
I wasn't sure what to expect to be in a Muslim country on the one year anniversary of 9-11 but it was a pleasant, heart warming surprise. Bosnians love America and those Americans who tend to know something about Bosnia or spent time there in the postwar era love Bosnia in return. The compassion shown by Bosnians was a pleasant surprise, I remember the American flag lapel pins at the Bosnian banks, the kind gestures of reconciliation and the kind questions of post 9-11 America.
I think that a lot of Bosnians took it particularly hard that there "Muslim" brethren had perpetrated such a large scale crime on there behalf and on behalf of Muslims around the world who were slighted by America. America was the only country in the west that supported a unified, unitary Bosnian state. We were the backers of Bosnia much like Germany supported Croatia and Russia supported the Serbs...We did have a dog in this fight and it was a massive underdog at that.
I think in many ways it just reinforced my feelings about Bosnia, Bosnians and Muslims in general. That they are kind, caring compassionate people that understand suffering and can identify with it in others.
I am going out of my way to avoid these 9-11 commemorations, staring at a twisted piece of metal that is now a sculpture or watching people jump out of buildings won't bring anyone back or honor their memory. Do something nice for someone you don't know is the best way to respond to the cruel events that day 10 years ago. Our response in these situations is more important than the actual event themselves...