Letter From the Editor
This is an issue of Body Positive magazine that none of us ever wanted to have to produce, but all of us felt we needed to. On September 11, 2001 we were assembling a routine issue of the magazine when suddenly the entire meaning of the word "routine" was changed. So instead we worked quickly to put together a special issue from the perspective of professional mental health practitioners that we thought would be of interest and help to our readers in the weeks and months after the traumatic attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) and by extension on our city and country.
In this issue, we highlight a first-person account by our Executive Director Michael Dentato describing the experience of the Body Positive staff on September 11 from the vantage point of our offices a mere handful of blocks from the WTC site. A related article by Body Positive Board Chair Dominic Carbone discusses the problem of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), while long-time contributor Michael Shernoff offers his thoughts on parallels between the WTC tragedy and the AIDS crisis. The features are rounded out by an article on empowerment by James Monroe Smith that was not written specially for this issue but which matches its theme well nonetheless.
In our "Personal Perspective" column, HIV mental health practitioner Robert Remien shares with us an e-mail he wrote to friends and families about his work on a mental health team at the WTC site, while our regular "Psychologically Speaking" columnist Buzz von Ornsteiner grapples with various reactions that individuals may be having. We end with a Last Word on "a quilt of the missing" -- the flyers placed up around Manhattan by family members and friends seeking loved ones lost in the disaster.
A final note: Thomas Jefferson commented that "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." Vigilance has already begun to rise in this city and country, with more use of security checkpoints, random searches, surveillance cameras and other techniques designed to foil the work of terrorists. But in our vigilance we must not forget about the very liberty that we are seeking to protect in the first place. People with HIV/AIDS have fought too long and hard to preserve personal freedoms to allow them to be lost overnight. And we must also be careful to safeguard the liberties of Arab-Americans, Muslim-Americans, immigrants, and others who may become the targets of violence and abuse in the period ahead. The best way to take revenge against terrorists is not to stoop to their level, but to prove them incapable of making us do so.
Back to the November 2001 issue of Body Positive magazine.
This article was provided by Body Positive. It is a part of the publication Body Positive.