Tuesday, September 11, 2007

None Who Saw Will Forget

We had a prayer assembly this morning to "remember" 9/11. I say "remember" because none of our students were older than seven when it happened and roughly a third had not been born. During the assembly, one of my fifth graders was goofing off and I gave her my teacher-death-stare. She quieted down, but I continued to process what had just happened. All of the teachers were stone silent, as reverent as can be. We remember the day quite clearly. We get choked up looking at pictures and telling stories. We carry the weight of that day in our hearts.

But my fifth grader was three or four at the time and it's unlikely she had the presence of mind to register what happened. I thought about that and I wondered -- we will never forget, but what can our children remember?

I hope that 9/11 will never totally loose its tangible, visceral quality, never fade into just another tragedy of mythic proportions, like Pearl Harbor. I hope that somehow we can preserve the enormity of it to show our children. Not to scare them, but to show them how important it is to watch out for each other, to let our families know we love them, to live life. How important it is to remember the dead, because they were not always names on tombstones. They were sons and wives and mommies and daddies, breathing and loving persons, individual lives that made a difference somewhere.

For our children, and for us, to remember that what you stand for and what you stand up for, have consequences, and you'd better be ready to follow through.

I know as long as anyone who saw it happen draws breath, it will not be forgotten. I pray it is somehow remembered, not only memorialized, long beyond that.

Swiped from Happy Catholic:

The 4th of July isn't the day the 13 Colonies won their independence from Britain; it's the day they declared their independence. On the 4th we celebrate their eventual victory, but more than that we celebrate the resolve, vision, and determination which led to that victory.

Today, September 11th, we remember those thousands of innocent American civilians who died in the brutal attack on the Twin Towers. But 9/11 is more that. It is the day we resolved, as a nation, not to knuckle under to the terrorist threat -- and more than that, to stomp it out.

We must not turn 9/11 into a simple day of remembrance. We have not earned that blessing.

We must not lose our determination.

Peggy Noonan also had something beautiful to say, as usual.

No comments: