By Yvette Moy
Today marks the 11th anniversary of 9/11. I remember hearing the explosion at the Pentagon and turning around to see the grey smoke rising on the distant horizon. Rushing back to my apartment in Alexandria, VA, I listened with disbelief of what was happening in my hometown of New York City. Like so many Americans, I watched the scenes from Ground Zero in horror. There was no time to waste as I grabbed my press pass and headed into Washington, D.C., by taking the Metro, then persuading a taxi driver to drop me off at the 14th Street bridge and walking the rest of the way to Stars & Stripes at the National Press Building.
For the next few months I would smell the smoke from the Pentagon when I finished my shift at midnight. As the War on Terrorism began, I resolved to do more than support our troops. In the days that followed, I decided to pursue a master’s degree in public administration at American University. Little did I know, this would allow me to actively engage a growing Latino population in Northern Virginia and be one of eight scholars to travel to Turkey and participate in dialogue among the Abrahamic faiths. As society grows smaller through globalization, our ability to engage it with cultural competency instead of stereotypes will be the key to building our common future.