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Ghent, E. (2001). Editorial. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 10(3-4):177.

(2001). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 10(3-4):177


Emanuel Ghent, M.D.

On the 11th of September things occurred which will deeply affect our world. In the place of an ordinary Editorial we therefore wish to publish an electronic message from one of our colleagues, Emanuel Ghent, who, living in south Manhattan, had an immediate experience of the first moments of a process with very uncertain consequences.

“Just a brief note in response to your kind notes. Horror is the right word. Unbelievable, unspeakable, almost unthinkable horror. Right now, as the smell of burning electrical insulation is wafting through our building, the image that haunts me is the picture of 200 firemen suddenly buried beneath a collapsing thousand foot tower of steel and concrete. The greatest loss of life in the history of New York fires was about 25 years ago, when 12 firemen were killed.

But the story that turned my guts inside out was told by a young teacher at a school in the building next to where our daughter, Theresa, lives — a few short blocks from the World Trade Center. Almost immediately after the first plane struck, the school mobilized all the kids and got them to march about a mile up the West Side Highway to another school in Greenwich Village. During the day many kids were picked up by parents. But by 5 o'clock the teacher was still there, waiting, and waiting, and trying to be brave with those kids (5-12) whose parents never came. Many of the parents in that school worked in the WTC or very nearby. The picture of all these instant orphans is too much to bear.

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