GENESIS OF SEVERE CLEAR 9/11: 136 Untold Stories
Scroll down to read more…
The Severe Clear 9/11 Project was launched two days after the attacks.
I was attending a long-scheduled business meeting in Westchester County. Everyone showed up. Not, it turned out, to discuss whatever deal was on the table, but because we were each in shock and mourning. As if being in a bland windowless room talking about routine things would somehow help integrate us into this new reality.
After a half-hearted attempt to stick to the agenda, we began to rehash what seemed surreal details of the cruelties and deaths of two days before. Most of us had never met before. Some of us perhaps should have been with family or friends. We were desperate together. Desperate to believe that today was a day like any other. That we had a schedule. Desperate to ignore the feeling of moving slow-motion through a nightmare.
After the meeting, business cards were exchanged. One belonged to the owner of a website company for nonprofits who was also the son of a firefighter. I’m trained as a journalist and editor. Within days a website was launched and receiving stories. Story contributors found it mainly through word of mouth. It was originally named WitnessToWar.
It was not anticipated then that I and my co-volunteer, Dominic Gadoury, would be receiving so many stories, nor the time it would take to properly screen and edit them, develop and maintain the website, call writers, get permissions to publish. For eight months I gave up my day job and volunteered all my time to the stories and the strangers who sent them, touched by their despair, healing, vulnerability, kindness, self-reflection.
After eight months, I ran out of time and self-funding. Then I returned to a paying job. Then life happened. I had a family, a child. Nearly twenty years went by.
The stories moved with me three times in a large-sealed envelope across two states. The power of their words followed along.
I’ve re-read them all again, and their poignancy and power seem to have grown despite the passing time. Or perhaps because of it.
They are ready to go home—into the larger world—where they were intended and should have been long ago.
With your help, we can make it happen.
Terri Laxton Brooks
Founder & Executive Director
THE SEVERE CLEAR 9/11: 136 UNTOLD STORIES PROJECT
Terri Laxton Brooks CEO
Dominic Gadoury COO & Director, Marketing Technology
Bess White CFO
Mary Quigley & Sara Wass Research
Patricia Stotter Creative Consultant
Yvonne Singleton Database Manager
Special Thanks to Jim Feuerstein & Jane Gennarelli at Loft 2203.com Developers of: https://www.SevereClearHealing.org This Special Project Site contains resources on ways to help heal from trauma related to 9/11 and to Covid-19.