NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the 9/11 terror attacks. Yet an estimated 33,000 or more people successfully evacuated the stricken buildings. They navigated mountains of smoky stairs in the World Trade Center’s twin towers or streamed out of a flaming Pentagon. Some fled an otherworldly dust cloud at ground zero. Others willed their way out of pitch-dark rubble.
Twenty years later, Sept. 11 survivors bear scars and the weight of unanswerable questions. Some grapple with their place in a tragedy defined by an enormous loss of life. They get told to “get over” 9/11. But they also say they have gained resilience, purpose, appreciation and resolve.