"The radio just said a cell tower is down. Better check your phone."
"A cell tower is down? Weird. In NJ? What happened?"
"I don't know. Something about a plane hitting it."
After paying for my things, I got into our car, which my husband had waiting at the curb. I had just run in to make a quick purchase. We had moved into our graduate student apartment last night, and we were heading back to an apartment full of boxes.
"Turn on the radio," I said, "they were saying something about how a cell tower went down nearby."
Of course, that's not what happened. We turned on the radio to hear them announcing the Pentagon was hit. Then, we heard about the plane in Pennsylvania. My family lives in Pennsylvania, and the Beamers lived in Princeton (Todd was on the plane that crashed in PA, and famously led a counter act with the words, "Let's roll!"). We had family in DC and family in NYC. And we felt like we were right in the middle of it all. Our neighbor, an elementary school teacher had to pass out a flyer that day that told her kids, "If you go home today, and no adults are home, call this number." One girl had to call the number.
Since 9/11, many actions have taken place. New care communities and foundations developed out of the emerging needs and new scientific studies resulted in completely transforming our understanding of trauma and the transference of traumatic impact.
Though the aftermath of 9/11 led to many challenging years for many people, a lot of good developed in the aftermath too. For example, kids who lost a parent in the collapse of the Twin Towers now are making a documentary showing ways they are thriving today. "It's kind of like a love letter from us to the rest of the world, saying, 'Hey guys, you're going to be OK," says Delaney Colaio, a 9/11 kid and the co-writer and co-director.
Following recent attacks throughout the country and in other parts of the world, Colaio says, "I just felt and knew that there are all these 9/11 kids who have been thriving on the other side of grief. I felt that the world needed to hear their stories . . . I almost felt like it was a responsibility to go and comfort the world that is living in such fear right now."
Producer Sarah Hirsh Bordo says, "What I keep hearing, and what I can't wait to project, is that it is possible to choose hope and positivity after loss."
International Documentary Association's Fiscal Sponsorship Program is handling fundraising for the film.
Healing and thriving after severe loss takes time, patience, and caring adults dedicated to walking alongside as survivors grieve, mourn, and begin to become restored again. When that happens, a survivors begin to thrive, they have tremendous stories to share about discovering new life along the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Survivors, like 9/11 kids, make clear, trauma is not the end of the story.
To support ICTG's mission to get leaders restorative strategies for individual and group growth after loss, make a contribution today.