Letter: Memories of 9/11 still linger

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To the editor:

Almost everyone reflects back to the horrible events of the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11.

The loss of life was unfathomable and we will never forget the innocent populace, as well as the heroic first responders — police, fire, EMS, even civilian bystanders — who attempted to intervene and help. They, too, were lost.

With the staggering totality of nearly 3,000 persons gone, setting aside the incredible damage, human angst and lingering emotional scars hardly fade.

What most of us cannot think about is the terror, the panic, the agony and pain of searing flames and noxious fumes and smoke experienced by those about to die; the tragic impetus for some to jump out of windows 80 floors or more above the ground; those buried in a crypt of cascading, collapsing buildings to be entrapped in a pile of rubble as high as a mountain, some still alive for a short time, their torn body parts found later by recovery efforts in small, hardly identifiable pieces over many months. In some cases, those lost were never recovered. We must remember. We have to honor their sacrifice not just numbers but what they went through. Think of their families and loved ones.

Ronald I. Maitland, D.M.D.,

Lenox

The writer worked for the City of New York Office of the Chief Medical Examiner after Sept. 11, 2001, as a member of the remains identification team.

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