Last week’s issue of The Pendulum did not have an International section because of spatial constraints from our Sept. 11 coverage. Check online throughout this week for additional international coverage. This week, read our correspondents’ experiences as they reflected on the Sept. 11 attacks from foreign countries.
BEIJING—On the evening of Sept. 11, I made a point of going to the Catholic mass held in the basement of my dorm building to commemorate the lives lost 10 years ago and pray for the families affected.
There was a common feeling of solemnity when I walked in the room, which was only exacerbated by the priest’s homily later on in the service. He spoke of the violence and terrorism that plagues the world and then began to address the events of Sept. 11 specifically. In an open forum, he asked us to share where we were and how we felt when we heard of the attacks. There were a lot of international students present at the mass, and it was very interesting to hear their perspective on the event.
Although I wouldn’t assume that they wouldn’t have been affected in any way, I was surprised to hear how many people had still lost someone they knew and how their families had been impacted. This world is more connected than I had ever realized: the global community often discussed at Elon really does exist.
BARCELONA, SPAIN—While most of you spent last Sunday commemorating the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks in New York City, here in Barcelona another event was being commemorated in a slightly different fashion. The region of Catalonia celebrated its National Day, which recognizes the 1714 Siege of Barcelona defeat during the Spanish Succession.
In a city that seems to come alive at night and can party like noother, this past Sunday in Barcelona was nothing short of electric. As I sat down for dinner with my new Catalan family, we conversed in their tongue about some of the events of their National Day. Amongst the loud music and streets flooded with Catalonians of all different backgrounds there were speeches, ceremonies, performances, and parties of every kind. Markets of all kinds were in full force and various local events took place. In virtually every square, plaza or park you could see the national Catalan flag and an abundance of Barcelona natives, tourists and visitors. The noise of celebration began at sunrise and ended well after sunset.
We all remember where we were on the day of the Sept. 11 attacks. I, for example, remember my dad telling me when the World Trade Center had been attacked. He was picking me up from school but I was too young to know what it meant, and I was living in Jamaica at the time. But it is interesting to note how differently another group can view a day such as Sept. 11. The two sentiments were at almost opposite ends of the spectrum and I was puzzled to be present in a country where this day brought about the highest of pride, while knowing all along the mourning back home. I leave with a sense of remembrance for the victims of Sept. 11 and an appreciation of the Catalan culture.