Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where were you on 911?

On the National Geographic site they have the 25 most unforgettable photographs of the 911 attack. They are worth seeing, they are not pleasant to look at, and they should never be forgotten. Where were you when it happened?

I was at work. We had access to televisions and were called immediately by family members who saw the breaking news stories. Everything stopped – since I worked at a residential facility for delinquent youth I went to the classrooms and gathering my group of kids and brought them back to a dorm area where they could also see what was happening. The kids watched it with us. It was awful – the kids were upset, angry, bewildered, we all were. You have to be careful how you react to things in that setting but it was hard not to – we were in shock. It was difficult to process the kid’s reactions to what had just happened and keep control of your own emotions.

I’ve had ten years to process that day. You look back at the various reactions and I realize I was sitting in this reflection of the general population (although a lot less worldly than adults). Some of the youth (a very small percentage) were interested, although somewhat indifferent to what had happened. They represented a rather traumatized and desensitized community. Another percentage – on the other end of the spectrum – had to be comforted. They are the super sensitive of the community, mostly victims who felt it to their toes and no doubt had nightmares later that evening. The majority had emotions ran wildly like a roller coaster. I, for one, fell into that group where I was angry, sad, panicked, and empathetic to the New Yorkers – the families I knew were watching with me and screaming in terror for their loved ones.

When you work with families, and children, and have both yourself, your mind just goes there. No one will forget that day, or the many other milestones we have witnessed. What a generation to belong to – may we someday find Peace for All.

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