Remembering the Women of 9/11

This Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of 9/11.  Someone recently stated that students headed into their freshman year of high school are the first of their generation to hear about 9/11 as an historical event–in other words, this is the first group of Americans (or rather, global citizens) to not have been born during that tragic day.  For those of us who do remember the moment we learned of the attacks, it is hard for us to put into words how we still feel..and it is always humbling to honor those who emerged as heroes during a time when our world seemed to be literally falling apart.

Among those heroes were numerous women.  In addition to female firefighters, police officers and medical personnel, women served as counselors, Red Cross volunteers and even contributed their skills as construction and utility workers.  “Although the aforementioned careers are predominantly male-dominated, women too proudly served and protected on that fateful day – a fact all too often overlooked,” wrote Elisabeth Epstein in a piece for Girls Globe.

“Women were down there from the time that the first plane hit the first tower,”  said firefighter Brenda Berkman. “Women were trapped in the rubble. Three women rescue workers were killed that day.”  Many of their stories and experiences were shared during a 2011 CNN documentary that highlighted the role of female first responders.  Here is an excerpt from Beyond Bravery: The Women of 9/11:


This weekend, let us honor the stories of all the men and women who, as Epstein wrote, “displayed superhuman courage” and, let us share those stories with our younger generations.

“Instead of associating today with terror and fear, we must remember all those – including women – who stood valiantly in the face of danger in an effort to save the lives of others. [Their stories] although a tragic reminder of our female heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice, now evoke emotions of hope and strength of the human spirit – and for that we will be forever thankful.”

Here are more stories about the women of 9/11: