Student reflects on impact 9/11 had on her life

By Madison Morris '23, MS '24 September 08, 2021

Headshot of Madison Morris

“How can I bring a child into this world," my mother kept asking herself. 

But here I am. The product of a strong woman who remained grounded as everything around her fell apart, not knowing if she would have to raise my brother and me alone, not knowing anything at all.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how 9/11 affected me even though I was still in utero and have figured out that if anything, it has shaped my life entirely.

9/11 changed what it means to live in the moment. As the world simply stopped, it felt like an eternity. People stayed home, cherished time with their families, processed the unforgettable trauma they faced that Tuesday and the days after.

Madison Morris in a snowsuit. 

I can’t remember a time when my family wasn’t close, didn’t have family dinner, game night or movie night. My childhood was completely different from my older brother’s, I could imagine, because 9/11 taught us all to appreciate what we have before it was too late. Because of this, I was raised with more rules, more concern, more protection, some might even consider me as being simply coddled.

I didn’t have a choice to come into this world as it was, and sometimes when I get lost in thought, I’m scared that I did. There is always so much hate around me and violence. You must worry about everything all the time. I'm told that it wasn’t always like this.

I contribute my constant anxiety to not just 9/11, but also the world's transformation after the smoke cleared. My biggest source of anxiety being my fear of planes. For as long as I can remember I have had panic attacks on planes where I shake and cry, gripping onto the seat and my dad’s hand for dear life the minute I feel a little turbulence.

September 11, 2001 ruined my innocence and naivety — two months before I was even born — and that can never be returned or repaired. All I can hope for now is that my children don’t grow up like this, always living in fear and surrounded by negativity. 

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