And when the light of reason fails
And fires burn the sea
Now in this age of confusion
I have need of your company…
I think that one of the reasons people are touched by the stories is that in one way or another, everyone is a survivor. Before I was a survivor of terrorist attacks, I was a survivor from Cuba … Somehow you’re always surviving something.
North Tower, 73rd floor
The financial analyst was logging onto her computer when she felt a massive jolt. She bolted for the stairs and made it out just as the South Tower imploded, sending her to the ground and filling her throat with clumps of soot. She walked uptown, not realizing until the afternoon that both towers had collapsed. She hadn’t thought to look back.
A common theme in overcoming disasters is a sense of deep connectedness: to the experience, to other survivors, and sometimes even to the human community in general. Here are some voices of the experience of connectedness as it relates to renewal and resilience and recovery.
Tom Canavan (47th Floor, North Tower, 9-11-01): I have a bond with (other survivors) that I could never have with my family and my wife and my kids. ..It’s sort of sad, because I’ll never have that with the people that I love, but I’ll have that with complete strangers.
is a survivor of the 1999 Columbine shootings, and says this about the importance of connection:
The best advice I can give (people experiencing disasters) is not to isolate themselves. And that is exactly the thing you want to do. You don't want to talk about it to your parents. You don't want to talk about it to your family. And you really don't want to talk about it to your friends because you kind of feel like they have no clue what you're going through.