Today, once again, the New York anniversary ceremony took on the familiarity of ritual. There were family members reading the names of those who lost their lives, time to reflect, moments of silence.
I can picture the collapsing towers and hand-held flyers with with smiling faces of loved ones. What powerful images of despair, suffering and staggering loss. But I also recall so many stories of rescue, heroism and survival.
The NY police, firefighters, emergency responders and recovery workers were courageous throughout the disaster. Some of the survivors felt anxious, guilty or responsible. Afterwards PTSD became a public health issue. To this day, some survivors struggle with intrusive thoughts, flashbacks and depression. And partners, children and parents will forever mourn their loss.
These are turbulent times. There’s so much intolerance and hatred in the world – it doesn’t take much to feel vulnerable.
What helps us heal and how do we move forward? Like in any tragedy, sharing feelings with family and friends or in community can ease some of the fear. Pulling together and support can help us cope. Goodwill and giving back can be a source of comfort.
Throughout the country today, people gathered to pay tribute, pledge allegiance and celebrate resilience. May this strength serve as an example for all of us.