Out of the ShadowsOut of the Shadows

“We’ll never be the same” was a sentiment shared by many Americans after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Ten years later, we are the same, on many levels. The way we recovered as a nation speaks to how we as humans deal with trauma, which is something we have learned a lot about in the years following the attacks, and with the subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.   Post-Traumatic Stress has become a buzz word. Mental health professionals, politicians and policy makers vow to address our emotional response to tragic events and crises better and more quickly.

This hour-long documentary, hosted and produced by WHYY’s Behavioral Health reporter Maiken Scott,  examines the issue of trauma through several lenses, and takes a look at how we cope as individuals, institutions, and communities. Read more of Out of the Shadows and view a photo slideshow on Newsworks.

Listen to Out of the Shadows on WHYY-FM:

Monday, September 5, from noon to 1 p.m.
Wednesday, September 7, from 10 – 11 a.m.
Sunday, September 11, from 6 a.m. – 7 a.m.

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In the Shadow of 9-11

For most Americans, recent history can be clearly divided in two eras: before and after 9-11. The attacks translated into a sense of vulnerability, grief and anger. They redefined our national sense of self, and how we understand our place in the world. To this day we see constant reminders of the events, which brought about war and conflict. We all remember where we were on September 11th, 2001. Since this day, our world, our country and our lives have been transformed. How are we different today? How are we coping with the aftermath of 9-11?

In the Shadow of 9-11 is a WHYY radio documentary, about the lives of Americans six years after the terrorist attacks. These are the stories of people whose lives were dramatically alterd, or who made big changes themselves. This one-hour documentary is hosted and produced by Maiken Scott, Elisabeth Perez-Luna is the executive producer.

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8 Responses to In and Out of the Shadows of 9/11

  • Paul Simons

    I saw, on TV in real time, two women on a high ledge of the World Trade Center, a flaming inferno behind them, hold hands and jump to their deaths. I see this as and similar horrors throughout history as the result of how easily the human mind can be maipulated, in this case Mohammed Atta and his gang of perpetrators brought to do what they did by bin Laden and his co-propagandists. It tells me we must all learn to resist being manipulated into hating and harming other human beings who are really for the most part just like us.

  • Christopher Egli

    I think that the premise of this discussion reveals an all-too-common American perspective of 9/11, as if the world began on that day, and poor little America was attacked out of the blue.

    In the first few days after 9/11, pundits from every media were speculating as to possible motives, dumbfounded that anyone could be that angry at the US. “They’re jealous of our freedoms”, was the most common offering, or, “They’re envious of our success.”

    In fact, Bin Laden gave his own explanation, which few paid attention to. He said that the 9/11 attack was a result of our military presence on Islamic soil, which had begun after the first Gulf War in 1991. Whatever your opinion of our involvement in that conflict, the simple fact is that once Saddam Hussein had been forced out of Kuwait, we decided to make ourselves at home there. We established the ‘no-fly’ zone over Iraq, and started building a host of new military bases. We greatly expanded our presence in the region, and were proud of ourselves for doing it. Most Americans saw nothing wrong with this; in fact, those who voiced dissent were accused of being ‘un-American’ by Republicans.

    I’d suggest a different way of looking at 9/11. For comparison, you may remember the Cuban missile crisis, where the Soviet Union decided they were entitled to build ballistic missile bases in Cuba, and proceeded to do just that. Anybody remember how we reacted?

    Americans seem unwilling to conceive of a world where we cannot do whatever we want, wherever we want. We become indignant when anyone suggests a differing view might even exist. Bin Laden asked for us to leave Muslim countries, and we totally ignored him. He started with requests, then got serious with the attack on the Cole, a US spy ship that was but one element of our military forces there. But once again, we only became outraged at this shot across our bow.

    The 9/11 attack was not an unprovoked act. It came after warnings – many of them. Let’s honor those who died on 9/11, but let’s remember the whole history, not just the part that fits our narrative.

    Take a minute to look at a map of the world; the borders of the United States have the Atlantic on one side, and the islands of Hawaii on the other. Until we accept that reality, we’ll have learned nothing from 9/11.

  • Patricia Gillis

    As the mother and Grandmother of Cherie Brummans, Brad and Kirsten Cills, we remember the trauma of that day as my husband and I waited for word that they were ok. We watched as fear engulfed them in the days and months after 911.

    10 years seems like a long time, and yet it seems like yesterday. We are so grateful we have them with us today and continue to affirm their healing from that horrific event. Our hearts go out to those families who lost their loved ones.

    Bob and Pat Gillis

  • Dave Vallee

    The attacks of 9/11 were brutal, and murderous. They were also a reaction, not an initiation. This was not Pearl Harbor.

    I was going to write about many of the same things that Mr. Egli did, so eloquently. His point that there is more than one narrative to 9/11 illuminates extremely well how one sided our perspective has been, always has been, and likely always will be, until we have real leadership with the courage to speak the truth. Yeah, probably never.

    The media will never provide that leadership. Even Bill Moyers won’t go there. The media that will ask those questions, like “democracy now,” will always be considered on the outside fringe of journalism.

    So for me, 9/11 changed nothing except to provide an administration bent on American hegemony the opportunity of a lifetime. One for which hundreds of thousands of lifetimes were brought to a premature end.

  • Graham Gormley

    I thought the premise of the discussion was whether or not we’re better able to deal with trauma since 9/11.

  • ed kriner

    the object has never been to “deal with trauma” or to “heal a nation”. It has always been to justify illegal wars/occupation, curtailing of personal liberties on a massive scale and to keep up the element of fear and anger. That makes the above possible and indeed facilitates the calls for ever more “security” at home, aggression to thwart “enemies abroad” (even where they don’t exist) and to contravene the “rule of law” both here and abroad.

  • Graham Gormley

    …um, I mean the documentary. The documentary is about dealing with trauma. I’m guessing you don’t need help keeping up the levels of anger though.

  • Paul Simons

    How are we different, how are we dealing with the aftermath of 911? I think we – some of us – are struggling to keep our, perhaps idealized, self image as a strong but also fair and open-minded country. Clearly there are real jihadis out there with real explosives and I hope we never have bombings here as reported on WHYY’s BBC and NPR news coverage from the Kabuls or Baghdads or Islamabads of this world. Personally I rather detest that this event has geiven a boost to both a virulent strain of militaristic exceptionalism and also an anti-everything-American ideology that is equally virulent.