On September 11, 2001—a date that will stay in our hearts and souls for generations to come—this issue of the JPO was in the final stages of preparation for its publication. In the wake of the terrorist attacks on New York City’s World Trade Center and on the Pentagon in Washington, DC, I would like to write a few words on behalf of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists.
All of our emotions are moving so rapidly that they are difficult to identify. The Academy is deeply saddened by the lives that were lost and the physical and mental injuries that were inflicted as a result of the attacks. We reflect on the things that we once took for granted. We yearn to return to the safety and serenity that we felt before September 11.
The rescue and clean-up efforts continue even as we mourn the loss of life and the loss of a way of life. We salute those brave individuals who responded to the call for help and who, in doing so, ultimately paid with their lives while trying to help others. In times of crisis, the public is given an opportunity to either shrink or shine. I am proud that the members of the Academy and the nation as a whole have chosen to shine. Many of our members are assisting in relief efforts of all types, and many have not only made offers of prosthetic and orthotic goods and services, but are also volunteering their services in a number of capacities.
While we continue to mourn and to pray, let us remember that it is as a community—a community of orthotists and prosthetists, a community of Americans—that we will move forward.