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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Never Forget What We Promised Not to Forget

Last week, in the days leading up to 9/11, I read several Facebook status updates from friends saying that they didn't want to remember and didn't want to be reminded through self-important status messages about that day 10 years ago.

I do not fault them. I can understand, especially if they lost someone that they loved that day. Sometimes you can't stomach to remember and relive something so painful. Especially when you have rebuilt and recalibrated your life.

Of course, there were also those who said they did not want to remember, because as a result of that day, the United States has become involved in two wars that have taken so many more American lives.

And I can understand that too.

But in honoring those who died on 9/11, there is something else we honor. It is that for that day, we were Americans together, equalized in so many ways. We were not Republicans or Democrats. We were not rich or poor. We were not Christians or Jews or Hindus, Buddhists or Muslims.

The planes carried not only Americans, but people of all citizenship, as did the towers. Their pain was something we watched in horror, helpless in so many ways.

So why do we say, "Never Forget"? Its certainly not to remember the hate crimes which rose across the United States in the weeks following, against Americans who looked like they could be of Islamic descent. Its certainly not to remember the words of those like Ann Coulter, calling the widows of 9/11 and the surviving children things I can't comprehend.

Those are not our shining moments as Americans, but perhaps in a way, we should also remember those things - to remember that amidst the consciousness created that day, there are those who gain power and manipulate vulnerability to create greater hate.

We are capable of shining. We are capable of rising.

But yes - there are those amongst us who are always capable of hating. And when you are surrounded by that, it does stunt healing. It does stunt understanding.

It stunts us being able to survive something like this with the grace this country showed on 9/11, should it occur again.

If we can't keep rising, those who espouse hatred such as the Glenn Becks and Ann Coulters of this world win.

There is a fine line between living in fear and creating it. Those who create it for us are very skilled at playing at our weaknesses.

But Americans are not weak. Remember THAT from that day.

That I will never, EVER forget.

And if we fight hatred with weakness and acquiescence rather than consciousness and love and the continual honoring of those we lost, than we are shells of what we were that day.

And we HAVE lost.

We have lost the spirit of the Americans on United Flight 93 who bravely took control of their flight to ensure the terrorists did not succeed in taking down another American institution.

We have lost the spirit of the teams of selfless firemen and rescue workers who risked everything in the hopes that they could save ONE MORE LIFE.

We have lost the spirit of all of the dreams and hopes that died that day.

And those hopes and dreams were not of hatred. They were of lives unfulfilled, of dreams that did not come to fruition.

Let's honor those dreams by not playing into the hatred and fear-mongering that so many moved towards in the days following that event.

The video below is one that resonated to me. Sadly, unlike most things Jon Stewart, I did not laugh, only because it was too much of a reflection of what emerged by some the days following 9/11. This is WHY we can't forget though. Please DO NOT let these people become the self appointed voices for the victims of that day.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Coming Soon - The Daily Show Remembers 9/13/2001
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Honor them every day. Not just on the next 9/11 anniversary. But in all of your humanity, every day.


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other." - Mother Theresa


webb said...

An excellent post, Kiran, but that's no surprise. Am worried about you, tho. A second child lost will be hard for you. Can I help, Sister? You are in my thoughts. xoxo

Colleen said...

This was all so exactly right that I don't even have anything to add. Wonderful post.


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