By Shawn Kennedy, editor-in-chief
One can find many commemorative events for the 10th anniversary of 9/11 being held in those places (New York City, Washington, DC, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania) where planes hit, and in other cities as well. Some are appropriate and done well and others are (at least to me) over-the-top and tactless—like one New York City radio station playing tapes of the confusion and chaos from first responder radio transmissions; families and friends of victims don’t need to hear that and think of what their loved ones were going through in their final moments.
How we saw it then. AJN’s offices are located in New York City. In 2001, we could see the burning World Trade Center from our windows and we wrote about about our experiences and thoughts. We knew nurses would be in the forefront of responding to help, so we reached out to nurses here in New York and in the Washington, DC, area in order to report on what nurses there were doing. And we also carried a Viewpoint essay, in which one of our Muslim colleagues reported on the backlash that she was experiencing and made a plea for tolerance.
Our current coverage. In planning this September issue, we wanted to acknowledge the events in some way—hence our cover (thumbnail illustraton above) by artist and nurse Charlie Kaiman, who witnessed the events (see also his artwork from 2001 conveying that experience; click “View Full Text” at the link) and subsequently moved out of New York City; the guest editorial by disaster preparedness expert Tener Goodwin Veenema, who takes stock of nursing’s readiness; and an AJN Reports story by former managing editor Joy Jacobson, who revisited several nurses who were directly involved in or whose careers were changed by the events of 9/11.
The nurses who died. As we reflect on how the events 10 years ago changed our country and our lives, we should remember the nurses who died that day. For a few of them, it was a matter of happenstance and bad timing. For most of them, it was because they were doing their job—whether as a company health nurse or as a firefighter or police officer—but they were nurses all.
Nurses Killed on September 11
Touri Bolourchi, 69, retired nurse, passenger aboard United Airlines Flight 175
Lydia Bravo, 50, occupational health nurse at Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.
Ronald Bucca, 47, fire marshal, New York City Fire Department
Greg Buck, 37, firefighter, New York City Fire Department, Engine Company 201
Christine Egan, 55, community health nurse visiting from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Carol Flyzik, 40, medical software marketing manager, passenger aboard American Airlines Flight 11
Debra Lynn Fischer Gibbon, 43, senior vice president at Aon Corporation
Geoffrey Guja, 47, lieutenant, New York City Fire Department, Battalion 43
Stephen Huczko, 44, police officer, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department
Kathy Mazza, 46, captain, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department, and commanding officer, Port Authority Police Training Academy
Michael Mullan, 34, firefighter, New York City Fire Department, Ladder Company 12