I had been laid off from my corporate job two months prior. I was still trying to pretend to get up in the mornings, so I’d leave my bed, head for the couch, turn on TLC and fall back asleep. That morning, my husband (then boyfriend) called and woke me. “A plane flew into one of the Twin Towers,” he said. I immediately turned the channel to ABC and watched the horror unfold. He didn’t have a TV to watch at work, so I was giving him a play-by-play of what I saw on the screen. I saw the second plane hit. I saw the towers fall. For days and weeks I was glued to the news channels. Peter Jennings was my new best friend. I put an American Flag decal in my car window. I cried at a Tae Kwon Do tournament when a young girl sang, “America the Beautiful.” I enjoyed the way everyone on both sides of the aisle joined together with one main goal – get the bastards.
Eventually, slowly, things returned to the new normal.
Today, all over Facebook, statuses ring out, “We will never forget!” Photos are posted reminding us of the fallen towers, the lives lost. Of course we I won’t forget. Whenever the space program is mentioned, I recall being home from school, sick and lying on the couch, watching the Shuttle explode. Whenever I see Britain’s royal family, I remember sitting on a chair late one night in my first apartment, watching the news about Diana’s death. Whenever I travel via airport, catch a glimpse of a military jet in the air, hear the rumble of a low flying plane, see one of those “If you see something say something” signs, I remember what happened on this day eleven years ago. But, most of the time, I don’t think about it, and that’s ok. More than that, it’s right.
Yes, I think it’s important to grieve, to honor those who were taken from us; but if we continue to celebrate the tragedy year after year, we’re giving the terrorists what they want. Osama is still haunting us from his grave. I don’t think we should allow that. I don’t think a single person who perished that day would want us to wallow year after year. I think they’d want us to move on, past the sadness, beyond the images of destruction.
So, what do you say? Let’s agree right now to stop congratulating ourselves for remembering. For the rest of today, and the September 11ths of the future, will you join me in posting photos of your pets and kids, complaining about the inane details of your existence, and celebrating the mundane?