The Survivors of 9/11


According to a friend who would know these things, 47,000 people worked at the WTC and didn’t die. About 26,000 worked at the Pentagon. Every year on this day, we remember and mourn those who were killed, at least we should, and think of the family members left behind – without a spouse, parent, sibling, partner, friend, co-worker.

But the ones who lived through September 11, 2001 – what about them, eleven years later? How have they coped? How do they reconcile the fact that they were spared from death while others around them perished? Many of them struggle, each day, eleven years later.

There can be tremendous feelings of guilt associated with surviving what kills others. Men and women experience it after a war. Some of my classmates at Providence College experienced it after a terrible fire just before Christmas 1977 killed ten young women.

So today, please remember the nearly 3,000 people who died. And don’t forget the ones who lived, the ones who just try to get through today, and every day, hoping to find the reason. I wish them peace.