September 11, 2001.
Anyone old enough to remember knows exactly where they were when the first tower fell; and then the second. Working in our ABMP offices that day, we all struggled to understand what was happening. And even before President Bush made his way safely back to the White House that afternoon, massage therapists and bodyworkers across the country started calling the ABMP offices wondering what they could do to help. It was unchartered territory for us all.
A Look Back
The memories of those days-turned-to-weeks are painful in the remembrance of what was lost, but there was also great comfort in seeing the outpouring of support from our community of massage therapists, bodyworkers, energy workers, and even animal massage therapists. So many of you wanted to help, in whatever way you could. And so many of you did.
We documented several of those stories in Massage & Bodywork magazine in the months following 9/11. On this somber anniversary, we’ve pulled a few from our archives to share with you here.
The Pain Lingers On
It’s been 15 years since the towers fell, since the phrase “our new normal” came to explain the loss of innocence we experienced that day. And still, so many continue to struggle with the effects of what they lived through:
• More than 5,000 cases of cancer have been linked to the toxic dust that swirled in the air after the Twin Towers fell and from the fires that burned at Ground Zero long after that; according to CBS News, 10–15 new cancer patients come to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York each week—all first-responders from 9/11.
• No one is keeping track of the deaths that came after 9/11: survivors, area residents, and first-responders who lived through it all only to succumb to a host of unusual cancers and illnesses. We do know that nearly 75,000 survivors and first-responders have registered with the World Trade Center Health Program.
• New York City-area babies born in the three years post-9/11 to mothers exposed to the disaster were of smaller birth weight than those born before 9/11; their preterm births doubled.
• So many continue to deal with the aftermath in their fight with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alcohol and drug abuse, and depression.
Use this 15-year anniversary of 9/11 to remember those who were lost, but also to find new ways to connect with a world often devoid of touch. The helping hand and the comforting touch offered by so many of you during those dark days in 2001 continues to inspire and remind us of the good in all of us. Honor that.
—Karrie Osborn is senior editor at Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals.