Flint Hill Faculty Share Their Experiences on 9/11

By Swetha Madiraju, Editor

On September 11th, 2001, the United States faced a terrorist attack unlike any other. On September 11th, 2019, eighteen years later, members of the Flint Hill Upper School Faculty shared their experiences and how they felt on that day. 


During Town Meeting, Ms. Alex Wolitzer shared her story and the lessons she learned from that day. Later that month, she talked about her experience in more detail. Her take on it focused on the positive effects of the tragedy. 


“I certainly cry or well up and get emotional every year on the day… there was so much widespread tragedy on that day,” she said.


However, she introduced a new sense of light to the situation. Though many people associate 9/11 with the pain, suffering, and confusion it caused, she explained that a sense of community was developed that she had never seen. 


“For many New Yorkers, it was a time where people came together,” she said. 


The terrible happenings of that day caused the community to come together stronger than ever before. Though so many horrible things were happening around her and her friends/family, they were able to piece things back together and try to live life again. 


“The moments of fear that my dad could be hurt or dead were real and traumatic… I think we all, those of us at a certain age, collectively live with a fear of that happening again.”


She talked about the permanent effects that it had on her daily life, and it shined a light on the fact that the innocence that the United States once had was lost on that day. However, the events of that day shaped everyone into who they are today. 


“While I don’t know if it changed me in a fundamental way, I do think it informs the person I am,” said Ms. Wolitzer. 


Every person who lived through that event is now who they are because of all of the things that they have happened to them throughout their life, especially the significant events. 


Though there is a large dark side to 9/11, there is also a sense of community and hope after a tragedy that is attached to it.


 “It sounds very cliche, but there’s always light, there’s always hope. Out of tragedy, out of darkness, out of the worst times in existence in humanity, we find ways to put things back together. It scarred New York physically and metaphorically, yet we say ‘we’re New York strong’. Horrible things give you the opportunity to demonstrate resilience… there are beautiful moments that came out of that where the best of humanity was shown in contrast with the worst.”