9/11: Remember Their Pain
Over the course of the last few days I’ve heard numerous people regurgitate the idea that weighing too heavily on the morbid nature of 9/11 in some way prevents us from moving forward as a people. In essence, focusing on the macabre events of that day reopens old wounds, thereby inhibiting our ability to reshape ourselves in the wake of one of the greatest tragedies in our nation’s history. Frankly, that’s complete bullshit. Thousands of innocent people died, suddenly and violently. Eleven years later we are nowhere close to establishing precisely what transpired that day. There are countless unanswered questions. That said, to look forward rather than backward – to conveniently brush under the rug those unspeakable acts – is both foolhardy and insulting. To ignore the darker chapters of history is to cordially invite similar events. Recall the images of utterly terrified men and women choosing to jump hundreds of feet to the pavement below, rather than burn to a crisp with colleagues who were chatting over their morning coffee only hours before. Consider what it would have felt like holding a cell phone to your ear while listening to a loved one asphyxiate on toxic smoke before the collapse transformed everything they ever were into a cloud of ash and dust. And think about what was going through the minds of the hundreds of people who stood frozen in the twin towers, overcome by the thunderous sound of the buildings imploding toward their heads. To avert our eyes from the deaths of thousands is to belittle the lives they led while simultaneously placing more importance on our own. Never has America been more unstable, more vulnerable, and more prone to inevitable collapse. The very idea that moving forward without first resolving past complications is in some way beneficial and proactive, is, I think, a large part of the driving force behind the problems themselves. History does repeat itself, and another 9/11 would be absolutely detrimental to both the individual and his country. If we forget that, we’re doomed. Remember.