A northeast Ohio psychologist explains the psychological impact of 9/11 11 years after the attack

Coping but never forgetting

CLEVELAND - There aren't many Americans who don't remember what they were doing on September 11, 2001.  Luis Cumba was working security at a Cleveland school.

"When United 93 came over Cleveland, we saw it circle around and go back," he said. "I was very angry at what happened."

According to Dr. Ellen Casper, a northeast Ohio psychologist , the impact of 9/11 is still in all of us but we have learned to cope with our fears and move on, which is what she said we should do.

"Whenever there's a life trauma, we find ways to cope, to be less afraid, to develop strategies to deal with our fears because if we stayed back in that moment, none of us would ever leave our homes again," she said. "We haven't forgotten but the image instead of being bright red, it's become a little softer pink or a little gray to allow us to integrate the enormity of the tragedy with our daily lives."

Casper also said many Americans will never fly or visit a foreign country because of 9/11.  She said that's ok, too, as long as it doesn't interfere with their daily lives.

As for Luis Cumba, he hasn't forgotten, but he's not angry like he was eleven years ago.

"It happened," he said. "You can't change the fact that it happened.  You just have to honor and remember the people who died that day."

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