Lisa Pandone Benson
There is no photograph that sums up the 9-11 attack on America. No words that won't sound cliche. It was the most horrifying, terrifying, moment of modern American history. Period.
On that day, I was only five weeks out from visiting Ellis Island, and looking back up at the Twin Towers from the boat ride back to Battery Park. I turned to my family, and said: "Those towers are coming down." I made that prediction on the information from the 1993 World Trade Center attack. My family looked at me in horror - and in confidence - as they knew my work, a long career in Middle East affairs, had given me a front -row seat to global security threats.
Unfortunately, my assumption was correct.
From the day of the attack, my career changed. I was summoned (recruited) to focus my career toward educating on Jihad/Muslim extremism; I became a resource, a researcher, a fundraiser, a broadcaster on AM radio, and a passionate voice for eliminating terror cells.
My world changed on 9-11, as did the lives of my children, and all children of a certain age.
More of this day in the book I am writing. I believe there is a collective PTSD in our children, and those of us who watched the events unfold. I write about this in my memoir.
September 11, 2021 will NOT be any ordinary day; it is the day of remembrance for those who tragically lost their lives - and a nation that lost its innocence.
Thank you to the colleagues I met along during these last 20 years that shared the passion with me. We continue on.....as well must.
God Bless America, and the families of the survivors who continue to linger in sadness. God Bless our troops!
Lisa Pandone Benson,