By Terri Winaught
Do you remember where you were and what you were doing on September 11, 2001? I do. I was working as an AmeriCorps HealthCorps volunteer at the Allegheny County Health Department’s Wilkinsburg office.
“A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center in New York!” a panic-stricken voice exclaimed as I finished a cup of coffee.
After still more planes crashed, ending with the one that crashed in Shanksville, Pa., I knew that something was terribly wrong!
“Planes just don’t crash like that, one after another,” I told myself.
With this historically horrible incident came war, anger, anti-Muslim sentiment, and combat in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Tragic outcomes of all of this were lives lost in rescue and recovery efforts; lives lost in warfare; and lives forever changed by injury which often resulted in severe disability.
As I reflect on all of this 20 years later, I believe it is as important as ever not so much to memorialize lives lost as to celebrate lives well lived.