Before, I would always make a commemorative post on 9/11.
But not this year. And not again, not for a long time. Not until 2021, at least.
I remember where I was, I remember every smell, every twitch of fear, every bit of the numbness that I felt that day. I still remember the dust/ash falling in Brooklyn.
However… I have come to realize that what I, and hundreds and thousands of people don’t need, is a constant annual replay and reminder of that day. I already had to re-live everything every time I wrote a commemorative in the past. I cannot imagine what it means for the victims’ families.
Everyone puts up videos and photos of the attack, the burning towers, etc. Social media is spangled in red, white, and blue, as though a reminder of a tragedy and the replay of lives lost is a reason to trot out the patriotic parade to show how you “never forget”.
No. We, the New Yorkers, will never forget. And we also think the reminders need to stop.
I don’t ask you to not commemorate the attack altogether, however, I do have one major request:
Please do not put up pictures of the burning towers.
The one thing we don’t want to see is the towers burning. It’s already an image we can’t get out of our heads.
We won’t forget anytime soon. But the reminders need to stop.
Don’t tell me how “un-American” this sentiment is. It’s not “covering up”. It’s none of those things. It’s the very basic consideration for victims’ families. It’s the very basic consideration for the families of those in service – police, firefighters – that they don’t get a reminder of how they lost one of their own. They know. They were likely there. They remember very well. And they do not need someone making a public display out of their tragedy. People lost family members, loved ones, in that attack; how do they feel when they see televisions re-broadcast that day on a loop? Or social media rife with images of the plane’s approach before it hit?
It’s just basic empathy. Do you ever want to see a reminder of possibly one of your worst days again?
I wouldn’t imagine so. So please don’t put them through it.