the need to remember

Especially today.

This week.

I see that I do write a lot about remembering; memory. Is that because I’m getting old(er) and all I have is my memories? Or just that there’s more to remember?

Or that I know that it is valuable to take lessons from the past.

So let’s go with that.

But today, I hear and read so many people’s accounts of what they were doing 12 years ago. And also, this Saturday is Yom Kippur and the 40th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War.

Maybe I’ll talk about my memories of the day 40 years ago another time.

I remember both very well. I am trying to figure out a line of connections between them.

That’s perhaps too easy. They are both about people choosing violence as a way of expressing themselves, not about getting something they want. Or is expressing themselves what they want?

Is that enough?

Not through violence. Not through fear. Not through imposing your will upon others.

I remember being at school 12 years ago, hearing just bits of what was going on and trying to figure out what to do with the children. How do we keep the children safe? I remember that the director of my preschool was new that year and this was her first test.

She didn’t pass.

She didn’t deal with it well. I’m not even sure what she did, but I remember the extreme pain on her face, while gathering everyone together. I really don’t remember; did we dismiss early from school? Did we just go on? How could we?

I do remember dealing with ISHI and with D#1 who was pregnant and unable to contact her husband, who worked in the twin towers. He had been late that morning, not unusual for him, but no, he had not gotten a phone call telling him to be late. I think that’s one of the urban legends how the Jews knew to not come in that morning.

But he was trapped in the subway tunnels underground, unable to get cell service, unable to reach her. Somehow, slowly, he did, she did, and we did reach each other.

The anxiety of the morning was what I will never forget. The details are not as important.

The lessons of what we must remember?

Here is what one woman says about it, from the Christian Science Monitor via Yahoo News:

“My friends and I, days and years after, after the smoke cleared, and we would say to each other, that day made a hole,” says Anoopa Singh, a recent college grad now preparing to begin a graduate degree in neuroscience. “And we didn’t just mean in the skyline. There was a hole in all of us: There was like an innocence that was missing, there were buildings missing, there was iconography missing.”

We must remember that something is missing. We must remember that the world is broken; we need to work much harder to fix things. It’s a necessary reality (I won’t say evil; it just is) that we need such days to remember the holes.

from our trip to the Statue of Liberty last August 2012

from our trip to the Statue of Liberty, August 2012

But what are we going to do about it?

3 responses

  1. It’s true, an innocence went missing that day. I’m sorry your daughter went through that, and of course, glad her husband was late. I have to say, one nice thing about not living in NYC anymore, and not working downtown, is not dealing with that on an almost daily basis, year after year. Enough.

    • Yes, I do love not having to deal with cities and all of their craziness on a daily basis, but the world still needs us sensitive types to do more to fix things. I think bringing beauty into focus is very valuable, teaching us to look past ourselves.

  2. Pingback: the need to remember the need to remember – touchingtoes

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