Recap: “20 Years Since 9/11: Confronting the Challenges of Recovery”

To mark the Museum’s annual commemoration of the end of the nine-month rescue and recovery period at Ground Zero, last week the Museum welcomed NYPD Chief Terri Tobin, Baptist minister Reverend Bill Minson, Vicki Arbitrio of the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY), and Dr. Benjamin Luft from Stony Brook’s WTC Monitoring and Treatment Program to the latest program in our digital conversation series When the World Changes.

In conversation with Clifford Chanin, executive vice president and deputy director for museum programs, the program participants shared their personal recollections of 9/11 and its aftermath and discussed the devastating health issues affecting the rescue and recovery community nearly 20 years after the attacks.

In the clips below, the participants reflect on the heroism displayed by first responders on 9/11 and what these displays meant to them.


2021_0526 Rescue and Recovery_Highlight-1_(Caps)

"As he came down and was exiting, he said there was absolutely no thinking required on his part, it was simply officers telling him where to go, just follow—and he said all I had to do was just follow the blue line to safety. And I think that’s extremely important to remember, as tragic as the amount of life lost that day, it is estimated that for each person that perished that day, that 10 people were evacuated. So although it is the worst terrorist act to happen on American soil, it’s also the greatest rescue effort that ever occurred." —Terri Tobin


2021_0526 Rescue and Recovery_Highlight-2_(Caps)

"I think of 9/11 and I applaud the Museum because it has—it is the largest repository of civics. This is what we should be as humans. They showed us the standard, this is the standard that we will try to approach, doesn’t mean we’ll make it there. I don't know if I’ll run into a fire or not but I know what the standard of what humans can do, what we’re capable of. And I think we have to remember to just keep retelling the story of 9/11, not in terms of the hatred and the politics and all of that, but of the human response, and I think that we’re all better by it." —Dr. Benjamin Luft

For more public programs like these, please visit our past program archive or check to learn of forthcoming programs.

By 9/11 Memorial Staff

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