Today, September 11, I could exhort all of us to never forget, but we've already forgotten, haven't we?
I could reach back into the sealed box that each of us has in the back of our head and take out my memories of Ground Zero, one week later, when the fires still burned and the air stank of seared steel and charred meat. Of the rows of 5-gallon plastic buckets that held...pieces...of my fellow citizens. Of standing in my best friend's looted apartment in haz-mat gear ankle-deep in ash — dangerous, as we were warned, because of it's "high organic content" — providing what comfort I could to a exhausted, sobbing NYPD SWAT cop. "We couldn't save anyone," more a prayer than a curse. "Goddamnit...goddamit...goddamit it all." Of the cold drizzle that leeched the colors from and ran the ink on the thousands of "Have You Seen..." or "Please CALL Us If You're Safe..." posters that covered every square inch of space in south Manhattan.
But in the end, does it matter?
Is it not easier for us as a culture to pretend that there aren't people who wish us dead? People who don't want our land, or our affluence, or our culture, or our freedom, but only wish to see us reduced to a gray ash of "high organic content," blown away by the winds of history.
It's hard to hang onto painful thoughts in a bumper sticker culture, where "solutions" are only a few words away. "Out Now!" "Impeach the Bastards!" "Intolerance is Evil!" "You Cannot Have Peace When You Prepare For War!" "No More War!"
Remembering is hard. I could tell you the consequences of not remembering, but I suspect you already know them. That is, of course, if you remember.
Have a nice day.