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9-11 One-Year Anniversary: Survey Reveals Emotional Scars, Fears & Faults

The one year anniversary of the tragic events on September 11, 2001 will generate a roller coaster of emotions most of us are unprepared to deal with.

“I will probably silently weep and say a prayer for the families of the lost. In fact this brings tears to my eyes now just remembering,” says one person who responded to a recent survey completed by Chart Your Course international (CUCI), a management development firm located in Atlanta, Georgia. Another person said, “It is a bad dream which we should forget.”

The one year anniversary of the tragic events on September 11, 2001 will generate a roller coaster of emotions most of us are unprepared to deal with,” says Greg Smith, President and the survey author. In early August, CYCI completed the survey after asking people to respond to six questions. The survey showed most people are dissatisfied with security measures that are currently in place. Furthermore, employers are not prepared to handle the broad range of emotions many people have held inside since Sept 11, 2001.

Over 250 people responded to the survey including responses from U.S., Iran, UK, Philippines, Indonesia, China, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Brazil, Uganda and Singapore. One person from Iran expressed sympathy to the American people, but requested his name not be listed. He said a leader in Iran issued a statement to arrest those showing sympathy to the US.

This anniversary is a sensitive and emotional issue for most people. “There are feelings and emotions just beginning to surface,” says Smith. Sept 11 will have as great historical impact and emotional trauma as Dec 7, the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Businesses have the added difficulty of deciding what actions to take or not to take to commemorate the event. Answers to the survey show most businesses have not decided what they are going to do. A few organizations have made plans such as:

  • Having a red, white & blue day. Employees can dress casual and wear the colors with pride.
  • Sending letters to the homes and to the families of their employees thanking them for their support and sacrifice over the past year.
  • Showing TV that day in the break rooms so people can watch the remembrance ceremonies.
  • Providing ribbons to employees to wear and placing small flags at individual work stations/offices.
  • Reviewing information about building evacuation and emergency response procedures.
  • Having speakers come in and providing meeting rooms for people to gather and discuss.

One business plans to gather around the flag in front of their building to observe 85 seconds of silence at a 9:10 a.m. EST and then play the National Anthem. Many organizations plan to communicate to their employees that their safety is a priority.

Despite the changes in airline security and efforts generated on homeland security, only half feel safer about their security. Many feel security changes are only cosmetic and cannot protect them from terrorism. Responses received showed only 16% would not fly that day. Everyone, but one individual in the survey, feel certain the U.S. would experience another terrorist attack.

Smith says, “Overall the biggest change that occurred is the change in the attitudes of the American people.” Prior to 9-11 the American people felt untouchable, maybe even a little arrogant. “Now we are like everyone else in the world–vulnerable. We are more dependent on our faith, our jobs, our government and on each other,” Smith adds.

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