Husband Matthew Fenton, wife Justine Cuccia, and daughter Taylor Banning


Taylor Banning: I had a dream in the hotel. All I remember from waking up was that my uncle was going to the bathroom, and the door from the wind slammed fast, and in my mind, there was fire. And then the door hit and it sounded just like when I was waking up from the boom of the plane crashing in and I, like, jumped up and I was like sweating. Scared from it.

Justine Cuccia: Are you still getting nightmares?

Banning: No.

Cuccia: See, I still get them. I still definitely get them.

Matthew Fenton: For me, I had nightmares for months afterward, but it's been a while now since that's happened. I think that - and I'm not entirely clear that this is a symptom of post-traumatic stress, though I suspect that it may be - for me it took the form of reflexive, disproportionate, constant anger. I would do something like spill a glass of orange juice and want to burn the building down. And if that happens like, twice a day, week after week after week, it becomes harder to convince yourself that this is not related to something larger. And of course, the something larger is people we had never heard of or met trying to kill us. But I'm much better now, as Taylor will tell you. I only want to burn the building down once a week or - (laughter)

Sasha Aslanian: Taylor, can I ask, what did they do for you guys in school?

Banning: Actually, my school, I think, had everything wrong. Before I came in, the teacher and the parents had decided that they shouldn't talk about it. They had made cards, but not for me, for people downtown, not paying any attention to the fact that I was through it too, you could feel sentiment for me too. No, they wouldn't talk about it. They'd just sit there acting like nothing happened and I'd just be like-

Fenton: I assumed in school, this would be something they would talk about. I didn't even ask her. She never came back with any information. But it turns out, as she said, that the kids took a vote not to discuss this because it was too scary. Her school is uptown, so it's a few miles away. So Taylor was having to keep this suppressed.

Back to: The Long Recovery from 9/11

©2018 American Public Media