That’s the other part of “Never forget,” the American mantra on 9/11. That’s the part that a lot of people overlook. Yes, we should never forget the injustice done to us as a nation; never forget those who died needlessly in a cowardly attack (and if you think it wasn’t cowardly, you can go fuck yourself); never forget those who gave their lives to help those in need. There are many things that we should never forget.
Personally, I like also to always remember some things. Always remember how America came together as a nation, if for just a brief moment, and put aside our differences in the face of a cold enemy from beyond. Always remember the Muslim-Americans who came forward in spite of raw suspicion and ignorant hatred born of blind rage, and helped their fellow Americans. Always remember that, if you had family who survived that day, you were given a gift that so many were denied.
There are some who would like to forget that tragedy happened. Would like to forget the death, the sadness, the anger, and especially the aftermath. They would rather pull the blanket over their head and pretend the monsters aren’t there. Well, they are. And those monsters outside did more damage than a few planes could by revealing the monsters hidden in our own back yard.
Politicians who seized on the fears of the everyman to put into effect legislation that hurt us as a nation. Cabinet advisers who pressured an overwhelmed president into decisions he should not have made, for reasons no one can truly know. Not to mention hatemonger groups who were given a new face to hate, and a new tool on their belt to help them try to distort the truth, and mold America into their own, twisted version of reality.
We are still feeling the aftershocks of that day. America’s trust in the world was diminished. And in turn, the world’s trust in America was diminished. But it’s not over. At the risk of sounding like a Reagan-era Cliché, we’re Americans. We don’t lay down. We aren’t defeated. We will never give up the fight, even though the nature of the fight and the face of the enemy may change.
We will never forget, and we will always remember.