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I want this to be understood in the manner in which it is intended so I will explain as carefully as I can the meaning of this statement, “I hope we do forget”. In all grief there must be an end. There must be a time after time that healing has taken place and the one in grief can move on, move forward. Not to do so is unhealthy. I do not mean to never mention it, nor to fail to comprehend it.
But I do mean that the emotional state of September 11th should become the same as the emotional state for Pearl Harbor. A day we sometimes forget. A day that creeps up on us and that we are reminded of by some article or story. “Oh, yeah, that was today”. It does not dishonor the dead for the living to live. That is true of the kind of grief you feel when a loved one dies and it is true of a national tragedy. In the wake of this event we took far-reaching actions in the moment of our grief and anger. Something any grief counselor will tell you not to do.
Those things need to be assessed with clear heads. We must forget if we are ever to right our nation. Remember the days of waving good-bye to your loved one from the airport gate? Remember the days of leaving your shoes on at the airport? Remember being able to walk onto your flight without the fear that some uniformed lackey was going to slap on some gloves and touch your child, wife, or self?
It’s time that we collectively, as a nation, reach that final stage of grief, Acceptance. According to famed grief counselor Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Acceptance doesn’t mean being “OK” with what happened bur rather understanding it as part of a past reality. It happened and there is nothing you can do to change that. No amount of laws, regulations, or pat downs will ever change that. Like the truth that must accompany all death, we must come to understand that no action we take in mortality will stave off that final act of biology.
To carry that to a national level the equivalent is to understand a very simple fact that so many people fight so very hard to ignore: evil, exists. We will not stop it at the gates anymore than we can stop death from eventually taking us. The only thing a person who fears death succeeds in doing is living a fearful life. We are living a fearful life as a nation and I don’t think we need to anymore. I don’t think we should, anymore.
Let’s forget about it.