Another Reflection on 9/11–22 Years Later

Jennifer Heiner-Pisano
5 min readSep 11


Jennifer Heiner combines a passion for running with her business skills as retail director for a New Jersey running company. Managing the company’s three retail locations, she helps control inventory, hire new employees, and ensure day-to-day operations run as smoothly as possible. Jennifer Heiner also provides coaching services and assists with the five races her company hosts each year. Outside of work, Ms. Heiner stays active in her local running community. She maintains membership in New York Road Runners as well as USA Track & Field. As part of her activities with these and other organizations, she has participated in and organized group runs, including training events to prepare participants for the New York City Marathon. In addition to her love of running, Jennifer Heiner has a passion for animals. She is the proud owner of an English bulldog and serves as a volunteer for animal rescue groups. Other pursuits include travel, theater, and seeking out great food and wine at new restaurants.

A life long resident of New Jersey, especially living so close to New York City, Jennifer Heiner was, like so many, deeply impacted by the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Only a senior in high school, the depth and breadth of the tragedy that happened that day impacted Jennifer’s life and those of her classmates.

It doesn’t seem posible that 22 years have passed since that tragic day. A friend recently posted on his Facebook page regarding his reflections on the day, and some poignant comments from those reporting on the day.

Good morning. September 11th, 2001: A day that started out like any other day, then turned into a nightmare for thousands of American families in New York City, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. We shall ‘Never Forget’, and continue to remember how our great country all came together the days following the attacks to show the evil murdering terrorist, we’re still here.

I read an article today about the courage shown in the aftermath of the deadly attacks. Here are a few excerpts and thoughts from the article written by Mike Lupica of the Daily News describing September 12th and 13th. Pete Hamill, the legendary New York columnist who was downtown the morning the planes hit the buildings, and whose immediate terror on Sept. 11, 2001, was being unable to find his wife Fukiko. Hamill always said that the true greatness of the city really began to show itself on Sept. 12, and the 13th, and all the days that followed. “It was,” Pete said, “like watching a fighter who’d just gotten knocked down get to one knee, and then slowly gather himself until he was standing again.”

We witnessed the strongest army in history, the army of the city of New York, an army of cops, firemen, doctors, nurses, emergency workers and everyone else who felt as if they were volunteering to fight a war. Among them was Warren Allen an ironworker from local 40, who was born in Washington Heights. He cut steel and after making sure his family was alright headed downtown on that first night, and then stayed at Ground Zero for weeks. The courage these professionals showed was remarkable risking their own lives due to the extremely toxic environment. It just wasn’t the people of the tri/state area that came to help as Americans from all over traveled to help at Ground Zero.

Pete Hamill, a child and poet of his city wrote later about those days:

“They drove all night from New Orleans to open soup kitchens for the workers at the smoldering site of carnage. They came in from upstate New York and from the surrounding states during those weeks. I met volunteers from Indiana and Alabama and Colorado. They offered help, and solace, and gumbo too. For the first time in many years, New York began to feel like an American city, instead of a separate place. The flag you saw everywhere was the flag of New York too.”

That flag still flies high today. The worst day in the history of the city would produce the best of everyone. God Bless American

united we stand, but divided we fall. On September 11th, 2023 we should all try to unite like we did twenty two years ago on a day that started with a beautiful blue sky, but ended in carnage.

Have a blessed day. ~ M. Daly

Jennifer Heiner-Pisano posted the following on the 20th anniversary. And here we are again:

The news events leading up to the 20th anniversary this past weekend also talked about September 12th, and how we all came together as a nation. During a time where we as a country are divided about so many things, we often long for that closeness and togetherness and comradery of that day. One of the best articles that I have read about the grief process was in The Atlantic.

Grief and Conspiracy 20 Years After 9/11 — The Atlantic

“Most theories of grief, particularly the ones involving stages, are more literary than literal. People don’t mourn sequentially, and they certainly don’t mourn logically. But there’s an aspect of one of those models I keep circling back to whenever I think of the McIlvaines. It’s the “yearning and searching” stage of grief, first described by the British psychiatrists Colin Murray Parkes and John Bowlby in the 1960s. ‘When searching,’ Parkes writes, ‘the bereaved person feels and acts as if the lost person were recoverable, although he knows intellectually that this is not so.’”



Jennifer Heiner-Pisano

A six time marathon competitor, Jennifer Heiner-Pisano volunteers with the New York Road Runners and enjoys all aspects of the running experience.