Today my FaceBook feed is wrought with variations and recollections of the event of September 11th from twelve years ago. The personal recollections have shrunk from previous years and some simply share a photo or state, “Never forget.” Seeing that phrase repeated over without more context has begun to trouble me, and not just a little. What is “never forget” supposed to be shorthand for on this kind of anniversary?
On one hand I think it is referring to a kind of remembering that simple tries to honor those who have suffered, especially the handfuls of people who were not merely victims, but heroes who sacrificed themselves for others. It is good to remember heroic lives. There are, however, other kinds of remembering too, which may be mingled in there as well. Some ways of remembering may be the very spiritual disciplines of a never ceasing war. It strikes me that the real challenge we face is is not just to remember, it is learning how to remember, how to tell the story in such a way that is about speaking the truth, but it is also about speaking the truth in love. Continue reading