Never forget….. 9/11/23
It has been 22 years and I surely don’t have any of the answers, but I do believe I’m beginning to ask the right questions. And so I often wonder what this means and what I am supposed to remember:
Am I supposed to remember that most of the hijackers were Saudis and therefore I need to be suspicious and fearful of
Or am I supposed to remember the millions of Saudi Arabians who had nothing to do with this attack.
Am I supposed to remember how the hijackers slit the throats of pilots and flight attendants with box cutters…..
Or am I supposed to remember the last words of Todd Beamer as he and other passengers rushed the flight deck of United Flight 93, “Let’s roll.”
Am I supposed to remember that the hijackers were Muslim, and therefore, I need to fear all Muslims as evil terrorists.
Or am I supposed to remember how Americans of all faiths set aside their differences and joined together to heal the wounded and mourn the dead?
Am I supposed to remember that the 19 hijackers abused our visa system, came here legally, only with the intent to harm Americans…..
Or am I supposed to remember that millions of immigrants have come to this great land to build a new life and be a productive part of the American dream.
Am I supposed to remember watching the second plane—on live TV—crash into the other tower, spewing flame through the building……
Or am I supposed to remember the first responders rushing to the site, putting their own lives at risk to save others.
Am I supposed to remember watching people—real people, not computer generated bodies in a movie–jump to their deaths when faced with the alternative of being burned alive…..
Or am I supposed to remember the residents of Gander Newfoundland who welcomed almost 7000 into their little town of 10,000, after 38 planes headed to the US from Europe were diverted? Am I supposed to remember how these kind-hearted people provided food, clothing, housing, medicine, and comfort to strangers from all over the world, not just Americans? Is this what I am supposed to remember?
Am I supposed to remember that a plane crash-landed into the Pentagon, killing 175 people……
Or am I supposed to remember Rick Rescorlas, a Vietnam Veteran who was head of security for Morgan Stanley, who lead 2700 employees out of the south tower moments after the north tower was hit. Am I supposed to remember that he was last seen going back up the stairs on the 10th floor looking for stragglers? Am I supposed to remember that his body was never found?
What am I supposed to “never forget”?
It’s a tough question, because some of these memories only evoke fear and hate and pain while others fill me with hope and remind me that humans are capable of great acts of love and kindness.
And so, what is it that YOU will never forget?