APA kicked off its 2002 Annual Convention in Chicago with an opening session that had attendees on their feet and clapping their hands to the music of Walt Whitman and the Soul Children, laughing at Studs Terkel's jokes and quietly remembering those lost on Sept. 11.
With the opening of APA's Annual Convention just 20 days before the one-year anniversary of the attacks, APA President Philip G. Zimbardo, PhD, acknowledged the resilience of Americans as well as the difference psychologists made in helping the nation cope.
He presented New York City firefighter Richie Murray with a presidential citation in honor of all New York firefighters for their "psychological strength, resilience and service to others during and after the World Trade Center tragedy," which claimed the lives of 343 firefighters.
"They helped define and reshape a new kind of hero and modestly referred to their own courage as 'just part of doing their jobs,'" said Zimbardo. "The firefighters embodied the best of the human spirit after we had just witnessed the worst. They gave us hope and inspiration when the nation needed it the most."
A thunderous round of applause for Murray and his colleagues was followed by a poignant slide show of photographs from the September 11 Photo Project, a photography exhibition touring the United States. Pictures of New York on that day and on following days--from buildings in ruin to missing-person fliers, to rescue workers--flashed on screens while bagpiper Joseph Brady of the Chicago Police Department played "God Bless America" and "Amazing Grace."