If you were an adult on September 11, 2001, you likely can tell exactly where you were when you heard about the terrorist attacks. Much attention has (rightfully) been given to the victims and first responders but until I went to the Museum I had not given much thought to the survivors. Over 15,000 people recall that where they were on that fateful morning was inside one of the towers.

 As part of the Museum, there is an entire stairwell that was saved for display. Entitled the “survivor staircase” this particular set of stairs remained accessible and was the path that hundreds took to safely exit the building. For many, those steps are the reason they are alive.

The Museum Committee needed to acknowledge the wishes of victim families but also of those who lived through the disaster. The staircase is there in response to that constituent group.

While the steps may be a painful reminder for some that their loved one did not survive, they also represent redemption for those who did escape. Everyone experiences life from a different perspective. Take care to honor the multiplicity of emotions and views when telling your story.

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