Images of the twin towers falling flood social media today as we all come together again as we have done ever day, on this day, for the past 14 years, to mourn, comfort, and remind each other that after the most deadly terror attack that has ever happened on our soil, New Yorkers and Americans as a whole persevered. @VinMcCarthy reminds us in his amazing card that we remember this day like it was yesterday. I personally was in 4th grade and ripped out of school after my sister over heard about the attack while taking down the attendance. She fell into hysterics, unable to be calmed as she kept saying "Daddy's work was bombed." We were lucky. Dad pulled an double shift and was just getting home when the Trade Center was hit. I will never forget how lucky I am to still have him.
But on the 364 days that do not mark this anniversary we are always forgetting the people still struggling, hopeless, and dying because of our darkest hour.
Did you know that almost every New Yorker suffers at least slight Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) from this terror attack? Those who lost family, co-workers, and friends. Those first responders, the heroes who survived while watching thousands die in front of them. Those who look up at the sky every single time a plane flies over and wonders if it is looking just a little too low. That last one is me, and almost every single person I know. I know because sometimes we get so freaked out we have to ask for a second opinion. According to the New York Times, it is nearly impossible to say just how many people are effected by PTSD from the 9/11 attacks. According to a survey, at least 10,000 people have met the criteria for PTSD in just this past decade and almost 4,000 of them still have life altering symptoms. Yet that doesn't even include people like me, who will never be tested because why should I be? Yes I live here, yes my father worked in the buildings, had to work for months in the rubble that was ground zero, but he survived. I was just a kid. But no one can explain how the mind works, especially when something has horrendous as a terror attack that killed 3,000 civilians. So 10,000 people receiving help are only the ones who were believed to be the most affected.
We Never Remember those who suffer mental disorders from that day.
Now lets talk about war. Specifically, the War on Terror that is 14 years and counting. Lets talk about solider's coming home with PTSD. Lets talk about how Veterans Affairs (V.A.), created to help our soldiers, is so corrupt investigators haven't even broken the surface. Lets talk about the people dying so you have the right to protest this war. Lets talk about the veteran you pass on the street and turn your nose up at their begging and "crazy" antics.
Whether you support the war or not, soldiers are over seas, away from family, children, friends, and their home, fighting for our protection. And they come home to virtually no help. In the weeks following 9/11 everyone was scared. Please, even today as I write this my boyfriend is working at a hospital in the city and the back of my mind keeps worrying something is going to happen. So we went to war. And men and women are still dying, are still fighting, and are still living in psychological conditions that can not be imagined. Then they come home, to a bullshit government aid program that doesn't help, PTSD treatment that just makes things worse, and mental disorders that make them unable to hold a job, interact with their family, or simply function in a life not full of death. According to NBCNews, 1-8 soldiers returning home suffer from PTSD and only half ask for treatment for fear of being stigmatized or hurting their careers. The conservative estimate of homeless veterans from THIS WAR ALONE is 2,000 and we all know conservative estimates are unusually low numbers. And still we turn our noses up at those who need us. Those who give their life to protect us.
We Never Remember those that choose to fight for us, to ease our fear, to give up their lives for a war half the country will not get behind who will not support their sacrifice.
So as you post your Instagram, tweet, and Facebook status, Never Forget the horror we all experienced 14 years ago. Never Forget that was the day everyone held hands, talked on the long walk home, and cried without shame with a wall of comfort around them.
But please remember that 9/11 is not just one day and after 14 years it is not over.
Never forget those who lost a loved one; whose entire year is 9/11. Never forget the firefights and police and civilians who ran up as others ran down. Never forget those who suffer mental and physical problems because of that attack. Never forget that there are still people fighting for us, even if you don't believe in the cause.
Don't you Ever Forget that the death toll because of 9/11 is still rising.
Feel free to take a moment of silence for those lost, fighting, and persevering 14 years later. Thank you.