Coming to terms with the events of September 11th: an interview with Kenneth V. Hardy



With the city in which you live still struggling to come to terms with the deaths of 3,000 people on September 11th, and with military retaliation still occurring in Afghanistan, in some ways it seems a strange time to be talking about forgiveness. Living and working as you do in New York City, perhaps we could begin by talking a little about your experience of September 11th and subsequent events …

Not long ago I wrote a short piece about September 11th entitled ‘After dusk and before dawn’. It seems to me that we are at a critical time in this country and that actually it is very relevant to be talking about broader issues such as forgiveness, compassion, and how we come to terms with injustice, privilege and loss of life.

Personally, I found the events of September 11th profoundly emotional and difficult to come to terms with. Living and working in New York City, we had a close-up view of the devastating events of that day. Here at the Ackerman Institute of the Family, many of us continue to be involved in working with firemen and with the police, and some of us were intimately involved in responding to the events of the day itself. We continue to meet together and talk about what is involved in this work and we remain in touch with the ongoing experience of families who have lost loved ones. Three thousand people died on that day and this means that the lives of three thousand families and countless friends and other relatives can never be the same. That is a grief of vast proportions.