Friday, September 11, 2015

On Never Forgetting

When the sky is at its most brilliant royal blue, adorned with clouds so fluffy and bleached-cotton white. When the first few days of the school year are underway and the nights and morning call for a sweater. When I have an inkling of who my students are or who my kids' teacher are and what the rhythm of the school year is.      There is a hiccup.

The images appear on Facebook with the words "Never Forget".  My first reaction is so selfish and reactive.
No one needs to tell me to never forget.
How could I forget?
Who is forgetting?

And all the sharing of the images of destruction begin. The pictures that could lure you in to the Box Office hit Summer movie. Those images are remembered, already.  We know most of those.

I wish, instead, we saw the "Real People of New York" type images.
The head nods.
The greetings of strangers.
The holding open of doors and getting up from seats for others.
The lack of divide that appeared in the boroughs those months after.
Show the team work and the comfort.
The looks of connection when a loud noise was heard, a subway car went dark, homeland security had us on Orange.

I wish everyone could see the circle time in the classrooms that began to repair the spirits of some of today's college students. The classrooms that allowed time for children to build with blocks. To rebuild with blocks. The creating of towers again and again, earnestly and cautiously. As if that would fix the hole and cover the constant smoldering.

"Mrs. Laird, I wish the Twin Towers were made of legos because look how I could fix them."

And with three deep breaths I release my negative reaction and throw it back into the air until the next September blue sky appears. Until the crickets start to chirp again in shadows of day as well as at night. When this week comes that drags down my heart and dims the view.

I will always have my list of fortunes:
I don't live in a country where such destruction is commonplace.
We can have a line like "Never Forget" because it is so rare.
I handed back each of my students to their living parents which wasn't true for all the teachers at my school.
I got to live in post 9/11 NYC which made me married to that city. Forever.
My husband was safe. My brothers were safe. My Father in Law was safe.

My physical view was different after. In various ways many of my views changed.
I am glad we all remember and that we will never forget. And I hope everyone will remember the moments that were found among the wreckage from which we could build the strong foundation for continuing on.

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