People talk about vivid memories on days like these. I can’t say that my memories are like that. I don’t remember what I was wearing, or what I ate that day, but there are some things that stick, and the historical timelines that go around this day every year help put some missing pieces together.
Yesterday was the 14th anniversary of the September 11 attacks that changed the NYC skyline forever. People keep saying “never forget,” a phrase borrowed, knowingly or not, purposefully or not, from the holocaust. I hate that phrase. First of all, I don’t think anybody who was an adult on that day can forget it, unless they suffer from a neurological disorder that degrades their memories in general. Second, and this is the key point here, what is the most important part to remember?
The “never forget” slogan is a rallying cry. It’s a call to war. It’s telling us to stay afraid. Don’t let your guard down and fight fight fight. But who should we fight fight fight, and do we really need to be the ones fight fight fighting?
The people who planned and executed the attacks against us are gone. The government that supported them has been removed from Afghanistan, and was never in many of the countries that we added to the enemy list after that dreadful day fourteen years ago. We’re still soaking in the fallout, like the cloud from a nuclear disaster, and it’s still making us sick. We tolerate and even foster racism against Muslims like we did to Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor. We are war hungry and still looking for revenge (even though we can’t even seem to figure out who deserves our vengeance). It’s enough already, and it’s time to get back to the Nation we were before that day changed us. Let’s not forget that.
I am done living in fear.