Tragedy manifests itself in various shades. It is grey, it is bla, it is pain, it is suffering, it is sadness, it is tears, it is screaming, it is helplessness, it is a world that will never be right again.
Today we remember and mourn the tragedy that occurred on 9.11.01. Thousands of people lost loved ones during this act of terror. Thousands more lost loved ones in the following months and even years in war and persecution. My own father was subject to severe racial profiling after the events of 9.11, from extra airport security to verbal abuse on the streets.
This too is tragedy.
But my father was lucky. Several others were incarcerated and physically and mentally abused for their beliefs, appearances, ties to certain family members, and other factors unbeknownst to both them and us.
Tragedy both creeps and leaps. Sometimes he is a cautious beetle, tentatively crawling onto our skin and latching on, burrowing deep. Sometimes he is a wiggling antenna of a leech, waving around until he finds blood, sucking with relish until he is painfully ripped off.
Tragedy blinds us to empathy. We are American. We are Indian. But rarely are we Human. We see our city ripped apart, our people hurt. We don't see the refugee camp where children search for missing parents.
I recognize the tragedy that occurred 13 years ago. I mourn it. I am deeply saddened by the lives lost, the tears, the pain, the fear of those trapped in a burning building. But I encourage us to see beyond our own pain, and acknowledge tragedy's many faces across the world. Cry for those. Pray for those. Take action against those.