Melissa Landinez, an American who grew up in South America, lived in Uruguay in 2001. She was nine months pregnant with her son, Christopher, at the time of the bombings.
“It was a beautiful day in Montevideo, Uruguay,” she recalled. “It was a beautiful day here, too, or so I heard.”
As information became available, she and her family turned to the news to watch the events unfold.
“When the first [plane] hit, I thought, how odd,” she said. “Then almost immediately afterward, a second one. It was just so chaotic. The second hand stuff we were getting down there, we saw people jumping out of windows because they couldn’t get downstairs. It was shocking to see it.
“How could this happen in America, where we were supposed to be protected and on top of it, and secure? I was really shocked that was happening. I didn’t understand all the ramifications because I wasn’t here, but seeing that was so scary.”
Landinez’s brother-in-law had family in New York. They called family and friends to make sure everyone was OK.
Today, she says, Americans are much more cautious.
“We need to be,” she said. “Life has no value to some people. We are more united in the fact that we have to protect what we love and our family and lifestyle.”
(Editor's Note: This is the 11th mini profile by Snellville Patch to commemorate Sept. 11, 2001. To view move coverage related to the anniversary, click here.)