September 11, 2002
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Ronald G. Silikovitz, Ph.D.

Licensed Psychologist

Essex County Office
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to West Orange Office

Ronald G. Silikovitz, Ph.D.
516 Pleasant Valley Way
West Orange, New Jersey 07052
(973) 736-2424

Union County Office
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to Elizabeth Office

Ronald G. Silikovitz, Ph.D.
70 West Grand Street
Elizabeth, NJ
(908) 354-0733

SEPTEMBER 11, 2002

On the morning of September 11, 2002, I am with my wife and two sons at the corner of West and Vesey, directly across from Ground Zero in New York City. 

The kaleidoscope of my personal experiences that morning includes the following:

  • We get to the site from which we view the memorial service at 8:30 AM. The speakers are not yet set up, and it is impossible to see anything over the crowd. But it begins to feel satisfying and meaningful to be there.
  • At 8:41 AM, the memorial ceremony begins with Governor Pataki reading the Gettysburg Address.  Because there is no sound from the dais audible to the crowd, I put on my radio and turn to 1010 WINS.
  • My family and I, and those in the crowd near us hear Mayor Giuliani begin to read the list of the victims who perished in the World Trade Center disaster a year ago.  People near us thank me for having the radio on. They actually get closer to where I am standing.  The crowd takes particular note of the moments of silence commemorating the collapses of each of the towers a year ago. 
  • I begin to look around, and these are some of the indelible sights and sounds that I will never forget:  adults crying and holding each other ever so closely...... folks on balconies of buildings......a man near us holding a somewhat wobbly 18" high replica of the twin towers and articulating his anger about 9-11 into his tape recorder...... the tattered flag that firefighters had planted at Ground Zero and that had been on display at the 2001 World Series and at some memorial events is directly and so poignantly in our view...... citizens and police officers and firefighters and EMT technicians, Scientology Volunteer Ministers, and folks like us, from New York, New Jersey, and as far away as Oregon are in the crowd, near us..... Salvation Army volunteers distributing bottles of water and granola bars to people in the crowd... my son the lawyer, who lives in walking distance of Ground Zero, is taking photographs of the crowd, reporters, the tattered flag, etc.....having to hold on tightly to the small flags that had been distributed, because it is so windy..... the shock and sadness of hearing the names of a synagogue congregant's brother and of Father Judge as they are read aloud.... the dust blowing from Ground Zero containing the spirits of some of the victims........the MUTUAL COMFORTING going on within the hushed crowd as the victims' names are read aloud.....
  • One of my first therapy patients in the afternoon of 9-11-02, Laura, tells me that the firefighter's hat that had been attached to her backyard tree since 9-11-01 blew away this morning in the heavy winds. She finds  this to be incredibly symbolic of the need to remember and the need to move on.

I am grateful for the opportunity to share in this event on such an intimate emotional level with my family and with all of the others in attendance near Ground Zero this morning.

Ron Silikovitz

Ronald G. Silikovitz, Ph.D. is a NJ Licensed Psychologist (#1320) providing both psychotherapy and forensic psychology consulting services, with offices in West Orange, NJ and Elizabeth, NJ.