How Should We Remember 9/11?

My social media feeds are full of American flags, somber faces and the Twin Towers soaring in all their glory. I am one of the hoards that start the conversation with “I was (fill in the blank) when it started.” I remember watching with macabre fascination for days. CNN ran in the background every minute we were home and I listened to NPR all day at work. It came pretty close to obsession and the whole Nation joined me in the over indulgence.

So, today marks 17 years and the day still has the ability to engender patriotic sentiment and high levels of emotion. It was an attack and when people are attacked they react differently. Some people become stronger and others choose to get lost in fear. Some see it as a call to action (positive or negative).

I didn’t lose anyone during 9/11, but I understand that people grieve for their loved ones and that people do it in different ways. People lose family and friends every day to cancer, old age, accidents, murder… So, I have to wonder if we are honoring 9/11 victims correctly. Is there a point where this overly emotional outpouring stops helping and starts hindering our ability to move forward? I am not saying that we should forget. I’m just wondering if we should start celebrating the lives that they lived instead of dwelling on their deaths. Memorials are important because they preserve a moment in time, but shouldn’t there be a point where we can whisper to those names on the wall and tell them that the people they left behind are going to be okay?

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