Wednesday, September 11, 2013

To Move Beyond, Must We Forget?

Twelve years ago I was sitting in a third grade classroom two miles from Ft. Detrick as my peers names were coming in continuously over the intercom saying their parents had come to retrieve them. Today, I sat in the Pentagon Memorial reading 184 names of people that are no longer with us. The youngest person on flight 77 was three. Her older sister was nine. Their parents were both on the place as well.

Walking back a friend mentioned that one of our peers was annoyed that the anniversary services are getting smaller and smaller each year. But isn't that natural, even appropriate? Those of us that are young adults now barely remember our 7-year-old selves; the U.S. is moving out of the wars 9/11 got us into.

We cannot move forward, thinking about the attacks less and less only to whip out a giant ceremony once a year to make ourselves feel like we aren't being irreverent. We can and should be moving on. And we shouldn't be afraid that moving on means diminishing the value of those lives or our sympathy for their sacrifice.

As a nation we cannot continue to pretend one a year that one day 12 years ago still plagues our day-to-day national consciousness. 

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