September 11 attacks, World Trade Center Families of 9/11 victims still angry 20 years later

Abcs morgan norwood has their story. Most of us can remember where we were what we were doing, maybe even what we were wearing when we first heard the news about the attacks on 9 11.. We just got a report in that theres been some sort of explosion at the world trade center, but for the families of first responders and for many of the loved ones who died. These memories run deeper than time place and setting, and in patricia smiths case, i dont have any like independent memories of her theyre. Fleeting smith was just a young child when she was robbed at the chance to grow up with her mother nypd officer, moira smith. It was hard to kind of hear everyone elses stories that i didnt get that for myself, despite the memorials Music, this necklace im wearing is hers the reality of remembering comes at the cost of resentment. It still makes me angry. Dr felix torres is a clinical and forensic scientist who has worked with survivors and families of loved ones who died in the tragedy. Hes seen the gamut of emotions, but for many, the most piercing and ever enduring emotion, is the anger. Anger can manifest itself in many ways it can be directed at other family members. It could be directed at government, the terrorists even themselves, and their loved ones were lost on that day for patricia smith and her dad. The anger is in the absence of justice.

I think we both kind of have the same notion that justice delayed is justice denied and now were 20 years later, with no justice. So while the old adage tells us time heals all wounds, dr torres will tell you its not entirely accurate time itself is not a healer. The tribute to the services. The annual ceremony certainly holds space for healing for some, including monica eichen, who lost her husband. She visits the september 11th memorial museum, often and her connection to the museum isnt just about honor. I couldnt bring him home, so this is his home for me, but for others it may actually reopen those partially closed wounds. Morgan norwood, abc news, los angeles morgan. Thank you and for more on how to cope with the impact of 9 11 and talk to our children about the events from that day. Pediatric psychologist and parent coach, dr ann louise lockhart, joins me now, dr larkart. Thank you for being here its been nearly 20 years now, since the 9 11 attacks the trauma, the grief, the shock from that day was felt around the world. So before we talk to our kids about 9 11, what questions do we as parents need to ask ourselves? Yes, thank you for having me diane. I think that its important that you know we lived through this, we saw what was going on. We saw what was happening in real time, and so i think we have to find out what were feeling in ourselves before we speak to our kids.

How were feeling about it and when we talk to them about it, i would say: ask them like what they already know, because they may be talking to their teachers, their peers, maybe theyre, seeing it on social media or online, and i would say before you even Have a discussion with your kids about it find out like what is it that you already know and just see what they tell you and then i think you should take it from there and then based on that as theyre talking and as youre talking to them. About it, monitoring their emotional, your emotional state, as you speak to them, because this event brings up a lot of feelings for us since we lived through it so monitor your emotional state, monitor how youre feeling, as you discuss it with them, and i think thats going To be super important and then, as you do, that share how you feel about it, but dont over share thats going to be the balance as youre talking about it all the emotions that come up for you theyre going to ask a ton of questions, but we Dont want to burden them with our emotions, and we dont want to burden them with too much information. So how do you strike that right balance between helping your kids understand the reality of what happened that day versus protecting their innocence and just letting them be kids? How do you decide how much to tell them yeah thats a great question diane, i think it.

You know. A lot of our kids know a lot more than we ever did at their age 20, 30 40 years ago. So we we can still protect their innocent innocents by really being aware of what were sharing with them, so that we ask them thats. Why? I think, starting out with finding out what they know is so important, because they may know a lot more details than we think they do and once we go from there we can say you know what theres a lot of things that have occurred in our history. In the world and in our nation that dont feel too good and that arent really positive and thats okay, because we can talk through it, we can work through it and then we can find the good people that helped us get through it. And i think thats really important to strike that balance and saying yes, this was a really terrible event, but you know what lets talk about the good people that helped us get through it and lets talk about how we can um. Remember it in a way thats positive for ourselves, youre, reminding me of that famous mr rogers episode when he talks about finding the helpers uh and that may parlay into my next question, which is after traumatic events like 9, 11 and even right now, just living in A pandemic, how do we assure our children that theyre safe and what can feel like unsafe times, yeah thats, a great question.

I think we we its important to be honest with them. That say, you know what it doesnt feel safe and i feel uncomfortable at times too, and it does feel heavy with everything that were seeing. But you know that they have to realize that their adults in their lives their caregivers, their parents. Their teachers were here to keep you safe and thats, not just physical safety, but its also emotional safety, knowing that they can come to us whenever they have a struggle. If they have a question about something that they feel unsure about that they know they can always go to us, grandma grandpa, dad mom teacher and that they know that we are a safe place for them to hold that for them, and i think thats, where we Can really strike the balance and say you know what whatever question you have. I may not know the answer, but well find it out together all right, dr anne louise lockhart great, to talk to you. We appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you. Diane and as america reflects on the 20th anniversary of 911, abc news and abc news live well, have live coverage 911, 20 years later. America remembers this saturday, beginning at 8 a.m. Eastern hi, everyone, george stephanopoulos here thanks for checking out the abc news, youtube channel. If youd like to get more videos, show highlights and watch live event coverage click on the right over here to subscribe to our channel and dont forget to download the abc news app for breaking news alerts.

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