Remembering 9-11

What does it mean to “Remember”?

Does it mean to feel the feelings again?
The shock, the horror, the anger, the disbelief?
Does it mean to be overcome by the helplessness again?
To scrape the nerves raw again?
To open old wounds again?
To look for simple answers again?
To let our leaders make unquestioned (and unquestionable) decisions for us again?
To lash out again?
To make somebody pay again?

What does it mean to “Remember”?

Does it mean reading names of victims every year?
And shining lights into the night sky every year?
And watching video clips every year?
And listening to the recorded screams of jets and people every year?
And calling radio shows to tell “where I was” every year?
And refuting conspiracy theories every year?
And raising new conspiracy theories every year?

What does it mean to “Remember”?

Does it mean letting past evils set our current agenda?
Does it mean motivation to fight the same fight over and over again?
Does it mean responding to violence with violence (since that is the only thing “they” understand)?
Does it mean holding the inhuman actions of a few against the humanity of the many?

Is this what it means to “Remember”?

Or does it mean,
can it mean,
might it mean,
something else?

Something different?

Something that has the potential of giving life,
instead of only commemorating, and perpetuating, death?

It seems to me that this is what Remembering is supposed to do.
Has to do.
Needs to do.

Must do!

For if our remembering does not at least begin the process of motivating change in us,
and bringing healing through us,
and calling for forgiveness from us,
and enabling us to humanize “the Other”,

then we are turning our back on hope.

The kind of hope that is contained in the words,

“Do this to remember me….”


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