This I Believe

Hanzhou - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 17, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: hope

Hope Carries Me Through Life

The sound of the collision between the Boeing 757 and the World Trade Center reverberated throughout the United States. The world was astonished, so were the millions of people whose lives were changed forever after September 11, 2001. People lost lives, jobs, and their future. I was one of them. But I believed in hope, which carried me forward.

A week before September 11, the world was quiet and I felt safe, happy, and hopeful in my little house in Quebec. My dad had recently received an irresistible job offer in the United States. The CEO promised to give an astonishing salary and offered to apply for all our visas and paperwork. After my dad faxed back the signed contract, we started to plan our move. We sold our house, car, and transferred all the money to the United States and left behind all doubts, fears, and insecurities. On the path to our prosperous, new life, we stopped by Montreal to pick up our visas. Our hotel stood just a few stories higher than the immigration office right next door but gave an amazing view of the downtown of Montreal. The new immigration office looked comfortable but provided no hospitality to the thousands of people waiting outside its doors everyday trying to check if their visas were approved. I soon became one of those people.

I awoke to the sound of the buzzing alarm and eagerly ran to the television for morning cartoons. No colorful pictures or animated Disney characters or even playful voices greeted me as I turned on the television. All the pictures on every channel were one and the same; an image that is now engraved in my memory. A smoking skyscraper appeared at the center of the screen on every channel. But being an ignorant, absent-minded, nine-year-old boy, I simply turned off the television and disappointedly went back to sleep. Little did I know that my future was crumpling along with the crumpling building.

All visa transactions immediately ceased by the next day. All that I remember or chose to remember was living in a dirty, downtown tenement, going to a poor, public school, and hearing constant arguments from my parents. Tears welled up in my eyes uncontrollably every day. Everything was gone. But I believed in hope, hope of a brighter future, hope of a more stable future, hope of a future whose border I could not enter yet. Hope carried me through until this hope became a reality.

Now I have a different hope. Living in this land of hope and living with great opportunity, I have hope of an even brighter future. Hope of going to a good college, hope of being prosperous, and hope of a better life.