9/11 – they too served, and shall not be forgotten
32 names, some being people I knew personally – family friends, the husband of an old schoolmate – Shabbir Ahmed, Tariq Amanullah, Michael Baksh, Touri Hamzavi Bolourchi, Abul K. Chowdhury, Mohammad Salahuddin Chowdhury, Jemal Legesse De Santis, Simon Suleman Ali Kassamali Dhanani, Syed Abdul Fatha, Mon Gjonbalaj, Nezam A. Hafiz, Mohammed Salman Hamdani, Zuhtu Ibis, Muhammadou Jawara, Sarah Khan, Taimour Firaz Khan, Abdoulaye Kone, Abdul Ali Malahi, Nurul Hoque Miah, Boyie Mohammed, Ehtesham U. Raja, Ameenia Rasool, Mohammad Ali Sadeque, Rahma Salie & unborn child, Khalid M. Shahid, Mohammed Shajahan, Gary Shamay, Nasima Hameed Simjee, Michael Theodoridis, Abdoul Karim Traore, Karamo Trerra and Shakila Yasmin – form a part of a larger list – one that is, perhaps surprisingly, no better known and confirmed, despite nearly a decade of intensive investigation.
It is the list of people who died in the space of a few short hours, in the attack that has come to be known simply as 9/11. It isn’t widely known or remembered, I think, that in fact no-one knows each and every name of the persons who died in that attack, so even the fraction of the listed names above may not be fully correct, and in fact is very likely not fully exhaustive.
The names above share one characteristic, one that makes it little known, little publicised, and sadly, little remembered, in their chosen nation – the United States of America.
These men and women ranged from 23 to 69 years of age when they died, but for one you may have noticed in the middle of the list above – an unborn child, killed when her pregnant mother ended up a passenger on one of the commercial aircraft used as an airborne missile in the attack.
They worked as executives in some of the fine offices of the World Trade Center, in software companies and in investment banks, they worked in the restaurants and provided maintenance services, they were housewives and students, they were civilians like most of us, caught up in the crossfire of a battle, one in which they were not even asked to take part – people who were just going about their daily lives. Like so many millions of people, they had made America their home. They had contributed to its economic and community development.
Today, their families feel left out, they mourn on their own, they are hurt that somehow their loved ones’ lives, and more importantly, their deaths, go unnoticed and unsung.
Let them never be forgotten. For they were Americans. And they were Muslim.