American Amnesiacs

I know that for a lot of people this is a hard day. I’m not even just talking about people who lost friends or family. Today is a tough day for a lot of people with a lot of emotion wrapped up in red white and Bush memories. I could go on about how the world has changed and about how today it is important to reflect and “never forget” but I’m pretty sure we already know that we shouldn’t forget.

But we did forget didn’t we?

When I say “we forgot” I don’t mean that we forgot what happened (how could anyone?) and I don’t mean that we forgot the people who died or gave their lives to save others. I’m not even saying that we forgot this day. No, this day we remember. But it’s not really on this day that we will ever need help remembering. It will be the other 364. It’s on those days that we forget.

I remember a couple of days after the attack our church held a special prayer service. It was packed. I had never seen it packed like that before. People had to stand. People cried and avoided eye contact mostly. No one knew what to do. We just prayed. We prayed prayers that come out of the valley of the shadow of death. We hugged, sang and hoped.

How quickly we forgot how to do that.

Last night as I got home from class my daughter came out of her room to greet me. I held her as we watched our President address the issue in Syria. As I held her in my lap, smelling her hair I was struck by a realization that “we” were not crowding a church for those killed by the chemical attacks. There were no midnight vigils. No candles lit. No tears.

 

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