Wednesday, September 10, 2008


This week already marks the 7th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 2001. It’s hard to believe all that has happened since then. For many in the United States, an awareness of the experience has long drifted into the halls of history. For some, particularly many New Yorkers, memories continue to be triggered, even as the World Trade Center site is constantly in flux, the reconstruction process bringing our City into a new era with a new purpose.

An often overlooked chapter of the 9-11 story concerns those who hurried to Ground 0 in the aftermath of the attacks and spent weeks, months or more, in rescue and recovery work. These people include firefighters, police officers, construction workers, clergy, emergency personnel, relief agency workers and many others. Having made the effort to respond to the many and varied needs of that unprecedented occasion, many now suffer both physical and emotional disabilities. A great number find themselves without adequate health care, in financial distress and on the fringes of a society that claims gratitude for their effort.

Only in recent times has the public awareness begun to acknowledge and respond to their very critical needs. These members of the 9-11 community need our prayers and our voices, so that the burdens they experience can be lightened justly.

As Ground 0 has changed, so has our world. It is a consequence of life, never to be stagnant, but to be continually on the move towards the future. While we cannot control the passing of time, we do have a choice as to how we spend it. As horrible as were the effects of September 11, 2001, and as concerning as they very much remain, the unity of heart, of purpose and of resolve that characterized this city and country in their aftermath are worth revisiting.

For the sake of the lives lost on that sunny Tuesday morning and in recognition of the many who are still suffering from the aftermath of the attacks, we as survivors should strengthen our will to take action, to fight all that is is wrong in our world and make secure, not only our personal interests, but all that which is right, truthful and just.

+Vladyka Mykhayil

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