What It Means to Remember


911_AnniversaryToday we remember the dark deeds that rocked a nation. We look at one another and say, “Never Forget.” We repeat it like a strange and haunting mantra, though there’s a place deep within our hearts where we know no words could truly encompass that unfathomable day.

It’s 10:00AM, and I’ve already spoken to many people about September 11. I’ve heard stories in great detail as friends recall where they were, how they heard about the first plane, then the second, and what happened next. There’s a strange look in their eyes as they recall the moment they realized planes struck the trade centers, and it wasn’t an accident.

“We were under attack.”

It’s still a breathless sentence. It still feels surreal. Yet there are children today for whom this moment is a page in a textbook. Children who were either too young to remember, or were born after this tragedy struck. For this reason, I believe that our mantra, “Never Forget,” holds more significance now than it did before.

I hope that you take time to tell your story today. I hope you share your account of this day to someone who doesn’t remember or wasn’t alive to remember September 11, 2001. I hope that when you tell your story, you know refusing to forget isn’t the same as being stuck in that moment. It is important that the gravity of history lives on, and that coming generations learn from our own experiences.

And may you not remain paralyzed by the past. May we all move forward with hearts both heavy and light, aware of the darkest moments of humanity, and believing that we’re so much more than that.

This is a hard day for many. To those who still feel the pain of this day, know that you are not alone. Reach out to someone you know. Tell your story. Share those feelings, and believe that in spite of our imperfections we are still one nation, united in each other.

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