20 Years of 9/11
In point of fact, these days on 9/11 I don’t tend to think about it much at all, which is I think a healthy thing. It was a national shock and tragedy, and we are still living with many of the things it set into motion. But the day itself was twenty years ago now, and as with every grief, it fades with time. It’s not forgotten by me but I also don’t use it as an excuse to retraumatize myself. Today is a day for remembrance, not for refreshing the pain of the day.
Because it’s the 20th anniversary, and we tend to attach importance to round numbers, some people seem to want to use the day as a cudgel. In the run up to the day I’ve seen a lot of memes berating other folks for not being in, I guess, an appropriate state of reverence for the day. Most of these I found, of course, on Facebook, the home of amateur psyops (and of professional psyops made to look amateur enough to be shared). This caused me to write a post, which I will now share here:
Folks, reposting memes that pre-emptively shame people for having forgotten 9/11 is kind of a shitty move, and more or less an update of the “I bet people won’t repost this” meme dynamic that is so very deeply annoying and manipulative. I assure you that anyone who was alive and cognizant in 2001 has not forgotten the day. They will remember it in their own way. May I suggest you let them do so without further editorial comment, pre-emptive or otherwise, on how they choose to do it.
And indeed, I remember the day. I know where I was and what I was doing and what I was feeling through the whole thing. It doesn’t make those thoughts and emotions and memories any less real not to revisit them on an annual basis like the stations of the cross. It’s okay to let them lessen and subside and to let time do the thing it does. But if you do want to revisit them — if that’s you’re way of dealing with the day — then that’s fine too. Do what you need to do for the day. Try not to judge how others do the same.
Here’s how I plan to spend this 9/11: As if it were an ordinary Saturday, which, god willing, it will be. I plan to go into town with Krissy and do a little shopping. She’s out of coffee, and we need to buy a set of trash cans with lids and foot pedals because Charlie likes to graze out of our current trash baskets as if they are a buffet, which is kind of gross and makes a mess. I will remember the day — I’m remembering it now, after all, here, with you who are reading this — and I will also live my life within the day. Both the remembering and the living are important. The country came to a stop one day, twenty years ago. It’s all right to keep going now.