St. Mary's University

9/11 Tragedy Info

In the aftermath of a national tragedy you may be experiencing a flood of emotions. It’s
important that you take the time to assess your own feelings and your own reactions to the
events of September 11th and beyond. Listed below are a few key areas that you may want to
think about.

Your Sense of Safety


One of the after effects of a terrorist attack is a feeling that you are no longer safe. In fact, this is one of the terrorists’ goals. It is perfectly natural to feel that your safety is no longer secure. However, it’s important that you separate that emotional anxiety from your real situation. Obviously, Tuesday’s events have shown all of us that no part of the world is
entirely secure. Yet, the likelihood that you will be harmed in a terrorist attack remains very
low. It’s okay to feel some sense of anxiety and fear. If you feel that fear becoming
overwhelming, though, and if you feel that anxiety is keeping you from living your life in a
normal manner, then you should seek help from one of the professionals available on campus.

Understanding Cultural Differences


America, and indeed your campus, is comprised of a mosaic of different cultures, peoples and
religions. One of the unfortunate results of this terrorist attack is a misunderstanding regarding who is responsible. In fact, at the time this was written, it was unclear exactly who was responsible. It’s important that you not jump to conclusions about those members of your
community who might be from a certain geographic region. Likewise, keep in mind that all
those who follow the Muslim faith are not dangerous people. In fact, the Muslim religion is the
fastest growing religion in the world and is comprised of millions of peaceful people. During
times when America feels threatened, there is a tendency to lash out at those who seem
different. Yet, there is no such thing as a 93real American94 and you will find that the vast
majority of those in your community share your shock and horror at these events, no matter
what their cultural or religious background is. Don’t blame the innocent as you try to make
sense of this tragedy. That constitutes a tragedy of a whole other kind.

Managing Your Emotions


You may be feeling extraordinary anger or perhaps immense sadness. It is okay to experience
waves of emotion. In fact, it is quite normal. However, you must channel those emotions into a
positive response in order to keep yourself well. You may feel inspired to attend memorial
services or, perhaps, a demonstration. These are good ways to channel your emotions. Be
aware, however, that it can become easy for your emotions to get Out of control, especially if
you become involved in a “mob mentality” where people’s anger and hate can be
contagious. Work with campus officials and student leaders to find appropriate, positive and
productive ways to express your emotions. Some suggestions: religious services, candlelight
vigils, peaceful gatherings and even quiet reflection are all appropriate. Other positive
activities might include blood donations, raising funds for disaster relief organizations,
educating yourself about terrorism and pursuing discussions with others about these tragic
events. If you feel you emotions are out of control and might lead you to do something drastic,
you should speak with a campus professional right away. Managing your emotions in positive
ways now instead of tucking them away is one of the best possible things you can do for your
self.

Show a Sense of Support and Solidarity


The terrorist attacks happened in a short period of time but the effects will last a long, long time. There will be an extended period of anger and healing. Additionally, there will likely be military and international political reactions. Everyone needs to prepare themselves for a long-term period of healing, reaction and action by our country. You can help by being
supportive of the country, your elected officials and those who are reacting to this tragedy.
One person can make a difference by showing their solidarity and support. Let that person be
you.

Please photocopy and distribute this report to all students.
This Special report was prepared by PaperClip Communications P0 Box 465 . Garfield, NJ 07026 973.546.3097 fax 973.478.3599 www.Paper-Clip.com