WASHINGTON, DC—It seems hard to believe that a fortnight has already passed, but this Wednesday, the nation will come together to commemorate the two-week anniversary of the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
"I'll never forget where I was on Sept. 11," said Veronica Coulier of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. "My sister and I attended an anniversary candlelight vigil in Union Square. The subway ride back to Brooklyn was eerily quiet, with everybody lost in silent reflection about what had happened the year before. I'm not sure how I'm going to spend this Wednesday, but wherever I am, the events of Sept. 11, 2002, will not be far from my mind."
While much of the nation is determined to return to normalcy and put that difficult day of remembrance behind them, many Americans say they are not yet ready to let go.
"The Sept. 11 anniversary forever changed this country, and 14 days later, we are still reeling from its effects," said Georgetown University history professor Lawrence Appel. "Never before had America grieved together as it did on that emotional day one year after that unthinkable day. It's only natural that, on the two-week anniversary, intense feelings would surface once again."
Others say they will do their best to make this Wednesday just another day.
"I'm going to go to work, do my job, go home, and maybe watch a movie—just try to forget it's the second Wednesday after this year's 11th," said Angela Gregory of Frankfort, KY. "Maybe by the two-year anniversary, I'll be able to come to terms with what happened, but I just don't feel I can do that yet."
Making it all the more difficult to forget what happened two weeks ago are the physical reminders that can still be found all around us. In downtown Atlanta, red-white-and-blue banners still flutter along Peachtree Street. In St. Louis, plastic flowers and candles dot the base of the Gateway Arch, where, two weeks ago, the city held a memorial service along the Mississippi River.
"Sept. 11, 2002, was a really rough day," said Lisa Snider, 51, of St. Louis. "I think everyone is feeling what I'm feeling as we approach the two-week point after the one-year anniversary—sadness, but a bit of relief."
According Dr. James Olsafsky, a Los Angeles-area therapist and grief counselor, the nation is on the road to recovery.
"The mood of Americans is definitely improved over Sept. 10 of this year," Olsafsky said. "Back then, we were all a little ill at ease, not knowing what Sept. 11 would bring. You could feel that sense of anxiety the day before the day the attacks happened the year before."
Meredith Engelberger, a Hoffman Estates, IL, homemaker and mother of three, said she expects Sept. 25 to be a day of healing.
"This past June 11, the three-quarters-of-a-year anniversary of the attacks, I was starting to think I'd never feel whole again," Engelberger said. "But then, at seven days before the one-year anniversary, it hit me: I'm not alone. Three weeks later, that's still true. If I can just get through the week before, the day of, and the day after the two-week anniversary of the one-year anniversary of Sept. 11, I know I'll be okay."