9/11 Taught Her What it Takes to Be an American

New Canaan High School senior Kelly Saiz was seven years old on 9/11.

senior Kelly Saiz was seven years old on September 11, 2001. A second grader at , she was unaware of the attacks until she got home that afternoon.

“It wasn’t until I came off the bus with my brother and my mother and father were standing at the top of the driveway,” she said. “My father would not normally be home at 4 p.m.”

Saiz’s parents didn’t censor what she saw on television, and she said she has been fascinated with the events of the day ever since. She participated in a contest to , and just this week it was announced that . When a guidance counselor told her that was looking for an intern two years ago, Saiz applied for the job. She has been helping the organization conduct interviews videos for its

“Being brought into Voices it felt like I was closer to something that had really been interesting to me, especially being in this town in this state that was so close to the action,” she said.

Saiz said there is nothing abstract about the memories of 9/11 that she is hearing. There are direct connections to the event in every story that is shared with Voices.

“One of the things I’ve learned through my work at Voices is people know people who know people who lost people,” she said.

After hearing their stories, Saiz said she is most impressed with the resilience of the people who suffered profound losses yet continue on with spirit.

“One of the things I feel very aware of after my experience at Voices is what it means to be a citizen in this country. I think it’s taught me what it takes to be an American.”


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