Our ability as humans to adapt to changing circumstances and to move on from even the most tragic of events is really quite astounding if you let yourself think about it for too long. Time really is everything. It has the ability to heal broken hearts. It can make you comfortable in situations that were once new and terrifying. But perhaps one of the most impressive things that time can do is make you forget.
Think back to any major life event of your past—your high school prom, the day you moved into college, or even your wedding day. All of these are major milestones and potentially life-changing events; but eventually, and no matter how much planning or anticipation was put into them, they all just become distant memories alluded to by faded pictures (ok…or hi-def pictures hidden in one of your 62 Facebook albums…). We rarely remember the details that we took so for granted in the moment.
So we have the double-sided coin of time. Because of it we can adapt, which is surely a positive thing; but we can also forget, which, let’s face it, can be scary.
I think that’s why around this time every year for the past 11 years there is always such an emphasis on “Never Forgetting.” Because as much as we want to adapt, we never really want to forget, because no matter how tragic the past was, it’s part of our history. It’s part of what makes us, us.
So I was 11 when the planes hit the World Trade Center, and I honestly had no idea what the World Trade Center was. I remember a confused news reporter trying to make sense of what was happening as I watched a replay of a plane smashing into a tower. I stayed home from school that day, and did my best to adapt. Couldn’t tell you much about my day aside from one thing: My mom took me and my sister to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. We didn’t stay there all day or anything, but it wouldn’t have made sense to us not to turn to Jesus that day.
There’s an ad on TV this year encouraging people to do something today as an act of remembrance for what happened on this day 11 years ago, and all those who lost their lives. I think one of the most powerful things we can do today is to pray—to pray for our nation, to pray for the families of the victims, and to pray for the souls of those who lost their lives.
God Bless Our Nation.