Commentary of 9-11 No One Man nor One Day Shall Erase You from the Memory of Time


9-11 is an important day in American History, equally important is the individual rights to embrace and understand humanity and the actions of that day.

I personally lost someone very close to me in the towers that day. His memory is deep and think of him often as had we stayed together and tragedy not stricken life would have taken many different twists and turns together.

What I do, is celebrate his memory, the memory of the 1000s of others and first responders that died due to the events of 9-11.

No single person owns the right to tell one how to mourn, how to remember how to heal. I live my memory of 9-11 like we lived together at the time, involved politically, with love of music and the company of friends and alies.

Recently, a elder in this Alamogordo community, of which I have invested heavily in love, commitment and partnerships, expressed anger at me on how I choose to express myself and my thoughts around 9-11, candidacies, the music, arts and public gatherings.

I am not angry at him, however I pity him and people, closed in mindset cloaked in Nationalism, expressed as patriotism, that have not learned the lessons of diversity, the lessons of 911 of forgiveness and the lessons of grief.

Some people grieve and turn grief into a celebration of life, and the life and ideals they shared with the one lost, others grieve through somber mourning, others grieve through bitterness.

I choose the first, 9-11 is a day of memory, but also a day of civil dialog, political action, a day of music and celebration- to celebrate the value of the souls lost and a celebration of the living and their path forward with respect of the memories together we had with those lost.

If one disagrees with my assessment, and how choose to act in memory or do, that’s fine! Live your life, and I shall live mine -

No one person nor “no day shall erase you from the memory of time” - Virgil.

Remembering is not merely a state of mind. As those who beseech us to never forget the Holocaust have long insisted, it is an act. And when loss and trauma are visited upon human beings, the act of remembering takes many forms.

Remembering is political. Those who disagree about the fate of Confederate statues across the American South demonstrate that, as do those who dispute how much the war on terror and its toll should be part of discussions about 9/11 memories.

Remembering wears many coats. It arrives in ground zero ceremonies and moments of silence and prayers upon prayers, both public and private. It shows itself in folk memorials like those erected at the sides of lonely roads to mark the sites of traffic deaths. It is embedded in the names of places, like the road that leads to the Flight 93 memorial — the Lincoln Highway. It surfaces in the retrieval of “flashbulb memories” — those where-were-you-when-this-happened moments that stick with us, sometimes accurately, sometimes not.

There are personal memories and cultural memories and political memories, and the line between them often blurs.

For those who were not at the nucleus of 9/11’s horror and its pain but experienced it as part of the culture in which they live, it can somehow manage to feel like both yesterday and a long time ago all at once. And as with so many acts of remembering, it is still being debated and contested — and will be for a long time to come.

What is important to is is that “I did not forget, we won’t forget.”

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