Remember — and care for — the heroes of 9/11

Twenty years ago, on Tuesday morning, Sept. 11, 2001, our lives changed forever as terrorists attacked the United States of America. It was a sobering day marked by the humanity, heroism and grace that rose up throughout our nation as we faced unimaginable tragedy and loss. Thousands were killed that day, thousands more were injured, and still thousands more responded to help the victims.

As I look back on the events that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, I’m reminded of the incredible perseverance and strength of our nation – characteristics inspired by the veterans we serve.

May we always remember those we lost. May we always be grateful for the heroes who responded that day. And may we forever honor those who decided to serve our nation, inspired by that tragic day. We are honored to serve our post 9/11 veterans each day and will continue to do so as they earned and deserved our support.

One of the most important ways that you can be available and support our veterans from all periods of service is to reach out. To connect. To be there.

September is Suicide Prevention Month, in which we increase our continued focus and awareness. If we haven’t already done so, let us consider reaching out to a veteran during this month. Let’s connect with our veteran families and loved ones and remember that trained VA counselors are available and ready to listen.

If you are a veteran or know of a veteran in need of support, contact the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 to receive free, confidential support available 24/7.

For Same-Day Mental Health Services please call our team at 802-295-9363 x5760. Reach out now before its too late.

May we always be grateful for the heroes who responded to the events of 9/11, and may we forever honor those who have defended us all.

Dr. Brett Rusch is executive director of the White River Junction VA Healthcare System.

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