Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Why We "Never Forget"

This past Friday, I had dinner with two friends I've known since high school as a sort of housewarming for one who recently moved into a studio in Manhattan. 

During the course of the night, we mostly talked about dating, careers, the earthquake and hurricane, and life updates. At one point, we broke out the yearbook and tried to figure out who and what we remembered from all those years ago. Between things we blocked out and our poor memories, there wasn't all that much... But we did all remember 9/11.

It was practically inevitable that this come up given the anniversary was two days away and that security had beefed up that week for the two of us work downtown. We remembered what classes we were each in when it happened, the chaos in the cafeteria later that day during lunch, and so forth. 

We didn't talk about it for very long and we didn't linger on the pages of our yearbook dedicated to it because the truth is we didn't need to. You can never really forget about 9/11, especially if you lived here when it happened and still live here now, or when your morning routine means walking past the construction at Ground Zero. On the anniversary itself, I avoided all the hoopla, not because I don't care or because I don't think it's important to acknowledge the lives lost, but because a lot of us really have not forgotten. We didn't need a day to think back on that event because we do it on our own all the time. So even though a lot of us resist the "never forget" tagline, it really is something we live.

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