The actions of 19 Islamic extremists on 9/11 left an indelible mark on America. Today, millions pause to commemorate the attacks’ 13th anniversary, to honor the victims and to remember that all life is special and sacred. But there’s an untold story amid the many speeches and moments of silence — one filled with a different kind of pain, grief and strong sense of loss.
I’ve known hate since the 2nd grade. For too long, saying my family was Muslim was something I felt ashamed of saying. My father’s beautiful history and culture was something to be hidden, out of fear of how people would react. I was embarrassed of my name for the longest time, afraid of what people would assume on first impressions. Everyone lost in the aftermath of those attacks.