Chile’s 9/11

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UA EMBAs in front of Presidential Palace in Santiago, Chili.

It was sunny and breezy. In fact, the weather could not have been more beautiful. We sensed this was a special place from the green-uniformed guards at each corner of the sprawling lawn. We posed in front as classmates and as friends to remember our International trip for UA EMBA class of 2014. But this space is remembered in Chile for other reasons.

We were in front of the Chilean Presidential Palace, a newer building with old-style architecture. That’s when our guide Ignacio told us the story of Chile’s September 11, in 1973. Shortly after being named Commander in Chief of the Army, Auguste Pinochet overthrew the government and this presidential palace was the site of the takeover.

“Imagine your navy seals and fighter jets assaulting your White House and the US Army taking over the country. That’s what happened that day to my country,” he shared.

Imagining the contrast between the perfect, peaceful afternoon and that day in 1973 provided my first lessons of the trip:
– no matter how different the culture may seem, the human experience of tragedy and patriotism, and a hundred other experiences, unite us
– as divisive as our political scene is today, we are blessed to have never experienced the attack of our own government by our military… this puts our political problems in a much different perspective
– even after the toughest of times, beauty returns and life goes on.

The world makes an exceptional classroom, and this photo will hold for us both memories and lessons.

Staci Woods
HEMBA class of 2014

Team: Prestige Worldwide

Sonya Bailey, Matt Bogue, Christopher Jones and Staci Woods

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