In the end, for me and maybe for you, it’s what #neverforget means.
In the immediate and the most importantly it’s keeping the memory of those lost alive. The most important. And if that’s what we remember that’s good enough.
But I think it’s more than that.
It’s impossible to feel the feelings again fresh, how we all felt, and the intensity of those feelings. And to those younger who did not feel them it’s impossible to explain.
Never forget what it felt like. It was raw and visceral. It had an energy and it was almost visible as it came pouring out of all of us. You could see it. The grief and sadness and disbelief that cannot be replicated. But we remember it.
But also the feelings of togetherness and how we rallied around each other. How we were nice to each other, family and friends and strangers alike. We were all family for a while. Remember that. Do you remember that?
17 years is a lifetime ago. It was also yesterday. The events that occurred 17 years ago on September 11th, 2001 informs so much of what is happening right now, still.
I remember, and maybe you do too, the things we said to each other and to ourselves. That we’d hug our family. That we’d hug our kids. That we wouldn’t take tomorrow for granted, because tomorrow is promised to no one.
Life moves forward and grief fades. It’s hard, maybe impossible, to live every day like it’s your last. No one can sustain trying to live life to the fullest, because there is laundry to do and dinner to make and that really good show came out on Netflix and it was a hard day at work.
So maybe never forget doesn’t mean remembering every day. It can’t. But maybe it means more than only remembering once a year.
Maybe in the end it’s the effort that counts. Maybe we can remember to aspire. To try. To dream big and do our best but be ok with the details of life too, and enjoy the little things, even if they are just doing laundry and making dinner and watching a show after a hard day at work.
We remember the people that were lost. But we should try, anyway, to remember what it felt like to be one and to be whole. We were, for a few brief moments, indivisible.
Never forget what it was like. Let’s aspire to it. Let’s dream of it. Let’s try.
Maybe that’s the best way to honor and remember, to never forget the people who were lost. It’s worth it, and they deserve it.