We already are forgetting.
Some of it, I know for a fact, are the rabbits, the R-selected liberals, who want to turn away and forget that there are wolves, that death waits. Who find remembering what happened “too morbid” or “too sad” or “you’re just stirring up anger against muslims” as if that’s a trump card.
I don’t remember because I want to feel pain. I remember because I must – so the people who died that day are not forgotten. So that we don’t forget the systemic malfeasance that led up to that day, the shoddy advice to just give hijackers what they wanted (and maybe they’ll go away).
To remember the fucking embarrassment of panicked legislation that – despite over a decade of the left screaming at conservatives was passed with bipartisan unity, over the objections of the left, and much of the right. The rights stripped from us.
These people want us to turn away from the memory of the jumpers, the falling man (1), the collapse, the debris, the bodies, flight 93, and even the one bright moment of “let’s roll”. They’ve systemically stopped showing the damage, the destruction. Pulling back to ever more distant and sterile views where you could not see the bodies, the debris, the apocalyptic dust cloud rushing toward the pedestrians on the streets. They edited out the sounds of the bodies hitting overhead from the video of the firefighters.
They want to forget, and they want us to forget, to be tranquil. To live a life dulled without the responsibility of memory. I refuse. I choose anger. I choose pain. I choose sadness – so I can know who
The only other memory as stark, flashed and burned deep into my head in a moment of accelerate time, was the “oh shit” moment of learning about the Challenger explosion.
I was detached from my usual command to learn enough about rigging operations to help out with pierside evolutions. We were in class, shooting the shit just before 9am, when someone came into the room, had just hear that a plane had hit one of the towers. We looked at each other, wondered what kind of horrible accident it could be. Was it deliberate?
Then we heard of the second plane, and looked at each other, and knew, just knew it was not an accident. We didn’t need a third time to know it was enemy action. Gone for me was the illusion that the Cole, or even the first WTC bombings, were just flukes. Add to that the certain knowledge similar to the Cole – that the lack of negotiations, hostages, political demands, made that an act of war and not old-fashioned terrorism.
We were dismissed, told to try to come back after lunch. I couldn’t get on base – waiting an hour to move half a mile and the base still a mile away. Called my chief, and with permission took the rest of the day, and part of the next, off, to come back and help supplement the swing shift.
I joined my friends, and watched in shock the smoke, the debris, the few shots of the jets approaching and striking. Tom Clancy taking the human intelligence community to task – and not returning to the air after the break.
Well, I thought they were my friends. We were talking, and I pointed out that we now had a very limited set of choices. That the attackers, and their compatriots, were only allowing us the choice to die like sheep, or be willing to kill them before we died, as they were perfectly willing to die either way just to get the chance to kill us.
I lost a lot of friends that day, and one girl I was probably better off not dating but it hurt at the time. A fairly liberal crowd, but events will show who can face simple, stark, reality, and even then, people couldn’t, were afraid to.
They want to forget, and they want us to forget, to be tranquil. To live a life dulled without the responsibility of memory. To not be reminded of the wolves and demons and monsters in human guise. I refuse. As I recently said elsewhere, I choose anger.
(1) – Go read the esquire article on the falling man.