• Keeping Friends

9/11/11 On Human Bonds

Published: September 11, 2011 | Last Updated: April 2, 2016 By | 4 Replies Continue Reading

Soon after the two planes crashed into the World Trade
Center, the first thing I did was reach for my cell phone. I was at my office
and wanted to check on my son who was at school a bridge away from me, which
felt a world apart at that moment. After I made arrangements for him to be
taken home with another parent, I called several family members and friends.


Then I heard about Shanksville and the Pentagon. "What do you
think is happening?" I asked. No one was really sure but at that moment, my
impulse was to connect with others.


As I watched the tenth anniversary commemoration of the attack
on television today, there was also a feeling of togetherness — both among the
survivors who have shown amazing strength and resilience in the face of overwhelming
loss, and among the rest of us who have realigned our lives, too, in this post
9/11 world.


Surrounding the new monument, the survivors hugged, kissed,
and held hands. Republicans stood next to Democrats; old next to young; race, religion, sexual orientation,
and country of origin faded into the


One of the few good things that came out of this horrific
event was increased interest in bonding: marriage, birth, living together, knowing neighbors, and nurturing
friendships. People didn’t react by saying they wanted to save more money or acquire more
things. They wanted to re-focus on the human bonds that keep us afloat and buoy
us during crises. Finding people who understand and who can provide mutual
support can help us better cope with adversity.


I was privileged to be able to tell the story of my friend,
Linda, who was a first responder during those dark days. Her personal story Ten Years Later: A First Responder Reflects on 9/11, sharing the lessons she learned, is posted on
LifeGoesStrong. I hope you’ll take a look.


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Comments (4)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It was one of those situations where a horrific tragedy that scares the living daylights out of you makes you want to make amends! A cliche, but so what. I did it and am so happy I did. Now, granted, this particular friend that I had the big falling out with was someone I did have confidence in about reconnecting. The argument we’d had was over a specific, unusual situation. Neither of us handled it well. She had tried to make up with me, but (in my opinon at the time, and maybe I was wrong; who knows?) didn’t really apologize per se. And I just wasn’t open to talking it out. I think I was just a coward. Anyway, it’s not as if this were a toxic friendship with lots of problems. Just this one big disagreement. So I reached out to repair the kind of friendship you want to repair. And 9/11 spurred me to do it. I hope others have other stories to share.

  2. Irene says:

    Moving can really take a toll on relationships. I’m glad you were able to overcome the falling out and subsequent moves.

    Best, Irene

  3. Anonymous says:

    I hope others who have stories about 9/11 and friendship will write in. My own story is simple but meaningful to me. I’d had a serious falling out with a long time friend but we’d both moved over the passing years. I was able to find her, though, and called and apologized. It was a great, long talk that we had and we reconnected. The friendship is not the same since we are not in the same town and just don’t have that face to face time. But we are in each other’s lives and the friendship has endured.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank you to Irene and to Linda for sharing this. It puts so much in perspective. Very inspiring.

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