I am writing this post 18 years from the day that America experienced unexpected horror where thousands of our citizens lost their lives. Their small children at the time are now adults. The pain is noted every year on this date. I am sure there is so much reliving of this day from all of us who experienced it from near or afar. We might all remember where we were when this day happened. I remember that I was heading towards an event in the State of Delaware where I was supposed to be at the table with the Governor of Delaware. She was called away to the 9/11 emergency. All of us at the event watched the news reports and spent time processing the impact that it had to all of us in that moment.
The world has radically changed as a result of 9/11. Terrorism has grown both externally and internally. We have sent troops all over the world to defeat varied terroristic regimes. It has taken even more American military lives and the threats continue to be a part of our everyday experience. We have also experienced our own domestic terrorism with the mass shootings that have exponentially grown in frequency and in magnitude. Our whole world seems to be in high threat mode.
The on-going trauma is still embedded in the hearts and minds of those families and individuals who lost loved ones, friends and co-workers. Most of the first responders who were there still experience PTSD and have medical conditions related to 9/11. The global community is still reeling from the impact of 9/11 and all the consequences that were created world wide. In the past year I was contacted by a foundation that informed me about the trauma in children in Iraq and how there were over 10,000 orphans from one region. This was due to the destruction of their city by terrorists and by all the ensuing combat to reclaim their city. Their parents were killed in all the exchanges and they were left with no homes and no systems of support. This is just one example of the on-going devastation of terroristic trauma.
As a nation, we certainly should be responsive and supportive of all those who were directly impact by the tragedy of 9/11. These consequences raise awareness of the prevalence and wide-reaching impact of this kind of exponentially growing trauma. We seem to be escalating in our fear and sense the need to provide some sense of calm and safety to both children and adults. It is an ominous task to even think about safety in the world we live in today.
I hope that 9/11 can be yet another reminder of the need for all of us to work diligently for a safe, calm and non-violent world. It means we will boldly face the challenges that are before us and push our leaders to be vigilant to provide safe environments in our schools, communities and country. That may be complex to implement nationally. But what we all can do is work within our own homes and other places where we have influence to provide our children and families with a safe environment. It could simply begin with preventing bullying, affirming our children, teaching problem resolution skills and recognizing the signs of dysregulation that is caused by some of the small traumas that children may be experiencing. We are all creating new legacies each day which will last for decades to come in the lives of our children. Even with such difficult memories of 9/11 we can now can be hopeful about the possibilities before us.