This may not be a very popular post. You see, I find this annual observance of death and destruction to be morbid. Do the people who died deserve to be remembered? Yes. Do we have to indulge our cult of death in order to do so? No. For me, the day to really remember these people is every day. That way we can remember them for the individuals they were and the lives they affected while they were here, instead of merely as part of some monolithic faceless tragedy that perpetuated even more death.
Almost 3000 people died immediately in the attack. Since then, over 200,000 have been killed and nearly 8 million have become refugees. Death begets death. To me, this is not something which deserves remembrance, it deserves condemnation. Instead of being solemn, we should be vocal in our opposition to violence and the stupidity that breeds it. Unfortunately, we mark time based upon violent events. The WTC attack on 9/11/01 was merely this generation’s “where were you when Kennedy was shot” or “when the Challenger blew up” or any other of numerous violent events.
If you want to remember the heroism, remember it every day. Celebrate those who risk their lives every day even in small ways. Celebrate those who help and assist with no expectation of compensation or thanks, but just because it is the right thing to do.
I will continue to celebrate this day as I always have… telling my sister Happy Birthday. Because that is something that deserves remembrance and celebration.