How do I feel since the first 9/11 in 2001?

The reality of the terrorism in our world became very real to me when my nine year old granddaughter recently asked me, “Mamie, am I safe from terrorism?” I had to stop and think because I wanted to be honest with her. Perhaps honest with myself, better describes my reaction to her question.

We all remember that fateful day fifteen years ago – where we were, who we were with and how we felt. I was in the Mediterranean on a cruise ship filled with many New Yorkers. It is hard to imagine their shock as we all watched the second airplane hit the twin towers in New York City. Many hours followed with security checks, questions of passengers and basically no communication with the world as we headed out of Istanbul!

I will always thank the cruise company for keeping us safe during that time and also commend the United States for quickly putting the world back together. Ten days after 9/11, we landed at O’Hare…three minutes late! Unreal and very impressive. I kissed the tarmac when we deplaned because “home” never looked so good!

Of course, we are aware of a series of horrendous attacks on a much smaller basis since that day. It’s easy for me to say “small” because my child was not killed in the Boston Marathon attack or my husband not shot in Fort Hood Texas. But in numbers and by comparison to the original attack fifteen years ago, the acts of terror have been held to a smaller scale and I thank our Home Security for that!

Getting back to the question my granddaughter posed to me — this was my response: “Yes, there are bad people who hurt good people but that is the way life is and always has been. The best thing you can do is be alert, live your life and do not worry. There are many brave people who will defend you if need be — and I am one of them.”

About the Author

Maryann Hartzell-Curran, a retired educator and counselor, has written a personal account of her journey through the first year of grieving the loss of her husband in her book, “From We to Me,” to help support those who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Maryann founded a successful family therapy practice and taught in the public and private sectors. She also founded and directed a church-based preschool in Lombard, Ill., and gained experience working with the elderly as director of a senior dining center. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in counseling from Illinois Benedictine University.

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