September 11 2001. There is little new to be said, there is much to left to ponder. That terrible day was an equal opportunity story of horror, loss, and bravery. The world lost many of its citizens. The world gained new heroes, many who became victims themselves, as they tried to help their fellow humans. There are personal and public memorials attesting to the lives lost. Putting a name or a face on one individual and honoring that person in the name of those lost allows each of us to recognize that tragedy has a name, a family, a country.
There were 2,977 casualties from the four planes, the World Trade Center, and the Pentagon. More that 90 countries lost citizens. Of those, six countries were in Africa: Cote d'Ivoire (1person), Democratic Republic of Congo (2 people), Ethiopia (3 people), Ghana (2 people), Nigeria (1 person), and South Africa (2 people).
One of the victim/heroes of that terrible day was a young Nigerian man, Godwin Ajala. Mr. Ajala, a lawyer in Nigeria, had emigrated to New York in 1995 in the hopes of becoming a US-trained lawyer. Passing the New York bar is very difficult by any account, let alone for a person who has not been trained in a US law school. Mr. Ajala was not to be deterred! He studied nights and was a security guard by day, at the World Trade Towers. On that fateful day, he could have left when the Towers were hit. Instead, he gave assistance to his fellow humans and attempted to get them to safety. The world lost an honorable man.
|Democratic Republic of Congo|