Random Neural Firings

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On 9/11- Stop Telling Me Not to Forget


Of course we remember. Today and every day. Our country experienced a kind of collective PTSD. We struggled then – and now – for words, the appropriate response, how to tell our children, how to understand the unimaginable, the unbelievable, the unconscionable. It wasn’t just one day. It was that day and every day since then.

I appreciate the images on my Facebook feed. I do not appreciate the admonition to “Never forget.” As if we could.

But I hope my son can grow up in a country that is not under a cloud of fear. Do you remember bomb drills at school? I do – hiding, crouching under desks. Doorways marked “bomb shelter” (very scary signs). We lived with the constant fear of a nuclear bomb. God, what was that movie that came out in the 80’s that scared all my classmates to death? Was it “The Day After”?

The fear we have now is more dispersed. It could happen anywhere. A mall. A movie theater. A marathon. At an elementary school. The bad guys could be terrorists from abroad or home grown. We are suspicious, on alert. We see soldiers on a flight and we exhale, certain that our flight will be safe at least from bad guys on a plane.

Remember what Mister Rogers said about bad guys? To look for the helpers. I want to focus on them.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

So today, I am going to try to relax. Exhale. Salute the helpers. Let go of Fear. Hug people. Look the scary people in the eye and smile. I will not remember what they did. I will remember how we responded. How we tried, how we stumbled. How we got up.

posted under Current events
6 Comments to

“On 9/11- Stop Telling Me Not to Forget”

  1. On September 11th, 2013 at 11:00 am Chris Allen Says:

    Spot on post! Our lives changed forever and we live with that each and every day. Being told to never forget annually is completely unnecessary.

  2. On September 12th, 2013 at 9:28 am Bernetta Says:

    I agree. We can’t forgot. Nor should we. It changed our lives.

  3. On September 12th, 2013 at 4:55 pm Autumn Says:

    I don’t know how anyone could ever forget. This is something that I will live with for the rest of my life. It was the first time that I realized that there were people out in the world that hated our country. (Yes, I was very young and naive, but still). Our fears have now become closer to home, because yes, we do have some evil people in our own back yard that wish to do us wrong. I agree that we should look for the good in those trying situations because there will always be someone standing up and helping others out in a generous and brave fashion. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  4. On September 20th, 2013 at 12:03 am Katherine G Says:

    I absolutely love this post!!

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    Are you so miserable that the entire 10 neighborhoods want to kick you off NEXTDOOR ? I see you like to stir shit and badmouth – lose some weight and get a life.

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