It is hard to believe that this Sunday we will be experiencing the 10thyear anniversary of the catastrophe of 911. It was a day we grieved the loss of almost 3,000. It was also a day when we were inspired by the heroism of thousands of professionals and volunteers who bravely gave of their time and talent in order to rescue and support the needs of those who were victimized by this terrible attack on our country.
How the aftermath of 911 continues to impact victims
Most of us remember where we were on that fateful day. We were involved in our normal routines when the world suddenly stopped, and we were glued to the television. The fear, apprehension, shock and sorrow we felt made it a day that none of us will forget.
The aftermath of 911 has been devastating for so many. More than 1600 individuals lost their spouses and more than 3,000 children lost their parents. Companies lost employees. Firemen and police lost their lives in the rescue attempts. Families were devastated. I saw a television special this morning in which two New York City firemen were remembering their Dad who was a firemen who died that day. They still carry a picture of him in their coats.
The events of 911 changed the course of our country, particularly our security measures. It also impacted the future of the global community. The day merits the focus that it will be given on the its decade-anniversary.
Caring intentionally for those who suffered loss
Those of us who have the responsibility of caring for children and families are reminded of the grief and loss that these children, now 10 years older, may still be feeling. Our hearts go out to those who lost their loved ones. It may still be surreal for them, and although they may have bravely moved on with their lives, the aftermath remains a part of who they are. The trauma of 911 caused an imprint of fear and loss to those who were victims.
There will be a variety of services and memorial events honoring 911. While we do need to be resilient and move ahead, as we encounter those who have lost loved ones, it is important we communicate with and care for them with appropriate intention. We also need to honor the heroes who lost their lives in the rescue attempts. We can take a few moments to offer support with cards, notes, and telephone calls. Then, in some way, we may bring comfort or support to anyone victimized by 911.
Trauma leaves a deep emotional wound
It is important for each of us to realize that traumatic events like 911 leave a deep emotional wound in the lives of those who have lost someone close. Although we recognize and may have offered support for the immediate crisis, it is also essential that we understand the ongoing impact of tragedy. The effect of 911 and associated traumatic events continue to affect children and families. I do plan to in my next few posts to discuss the pervasive nature of trauma and its impact on children and others who have been devastated by its impact.
However, for now, let us say prayers, remember and support those who have lost loved ones at 911. We need to let them know that they and their love ones are not forgotten.
Gerry Vassar, President and CEO, Lakeside Educational Network