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My 9-1-1, According to Star Trek
Sept. 11 Memories

My 9-1-1, According to Star Trek

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SEPT 11 2001 NYC

People make their way amid debris near the World Trade Center in New York Tuesday Sept. 11, 2001. In one of the most horrifying attacks ever against the United States, terrorists crashed two airliners into the World Trade Center in a deadly series of blows that brought down the twin 110-story towers. (AP Photo/Gulnara Samoilova)

I saw your call for “thoughts and memories” regarding the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorism in New York and Washington D.C. My husband and I had just moved from New York City, where I worked for 3 and a half years at the World Trade Center, just before the Sept. 11 attacks. So while we were already in California when the attacks occurred, we know of people who died or were directly traumatized by the incidents and I felt the events as if they were happening to my “Home."

Two decades later, I wrote a 149-word poem that reflects my attempts in part to understand 9/11:

My 9-1-1, According to Star Trek,

Was James, devoted husband to Mary

Was Patricia, devoted mother to Robert

Was John, devoted grandfather to Jennifer

Was Linda, devoted sister to Mankato

Was Isabella, devoted cousin to Mateo

Was Han, devoted nephew to Arundhati

Was Eileen, devoted wife to Thomas —

the names are sourced from lists

of common names in the United States

not names from my personal life

of working in the World Trade Center

or living in New York before Napa Valley

with one exception: that last line naming

“Eileen, devoted wife to Thomas”

who is me — I cite myself because

My 9-1-1 is a transnational experience

of all settlers, immigrants, and indigenous

like so many actions and events

we believe to be “personal” or

“individual “ or “domestic” instead

of what they truly are: interconnected

moments described by Mr. Spock—

“One is the Many; Many is the One.”

Eileen R. Tabios

St. Helena

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