Trauma caused by violence or tragic events can have a huge impact on individuals’ lives. And though their responses to trauma may fade away, it can reemerge or be heightened by anniversaries. That the 20th anniversary of the horrific attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, is taking place amid the ongoing collective tragedy of the Covid-19 pandemic is bound to make this year’s remembrances of 9/11 extra difficult for some Americans.
When two hijacked commercial airliners plowed into the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, a third crashed into the Pentagon, and a fourth plunged into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania — diverted by the plane’s passengers from its intended target — life in the U.S. came to a halt. The events of that day traumatized tens of thousands of people and forced many to rethink America’s place in the world.