Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States.
Nearly 3,000 people died on that day, and while the tragedy impacted (and continues to impact) the U.S. community, the day’s events had repercussions felt worldwide.
In 2002, the daily La Nación published a story detailing the Costa Ricans directly affected by the terrorist attacks in New York City.
“Some of them were inside the World Trade Center at the precise moment of the attacks; others worked there, but they were not in their offices at that time; and at least two Ticas lost their loved ones,” the story reads.
While Costa Rica was not the terrorists’ target, the events of that Tuesday morning shook our small Central American country. Days later, at an emergency meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS), Costa Rica called the events a “horrendous attack perpetrated not only against the United States, but against our entire continent.”
“Costa Rica also feels attacked by this cowardly and vile terrorist attack which targeted a sister country and a member of our Organization,” said Luis Guardia, the Costa Rican representative.
“We stand in solidarity with the people and Government of the United States at this difficult time and condemn this horrendous act and those cowards who committed it against so many innocent people.”
In the weeks that followed, the Costa Rican economy felt the blow of the plummeting demand in air travel. And the fear and uncertainty consuming the United States was also felt here; Tico authorities received hundreds of calls about suspected anthrax poisoning.
But the most enduring response from Costa Rica to the attacks was one of brotherhood and sisterhood: In the days after September 11, Ticos from across the country traveled to the U.S. Embassy and left wreaths, flowers and letters as a show of support.
Twenty years later, we take a moment to reflect on how the world has changed and to remember the thousands of lives cut short. May their memories be a blessing.
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The featured photo shows a couple walking by the 9/11 memorial in Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey.
We know this is a difficult day for many people. Wherever you are in the world, we wish you peace and comfort.