A 9/11 challenge

Healing takes time. I’ve lost a member of my immediate family (although not to violence), so I understand some of that first-hand. Grieving takes time, and it’s never enough time. I’m glad that in some ways the pain of Sept 11 2001 is starting to fade, at least enough that my day today was mostly normal.

That doesn’t mean forgetting. Going on with life, even in a permanently changed world, is a sign of healing. In many ways I’m just glad that a mostly normal day today is a sign that perhaps we’re not so vehement about taking to the barricades of some of the (conflicting) superstructures we’ve built on top of September 11th.

So I think about right remembrance, and tonight that leads me to a challenge. I cannot remember the terrorist attacks without remembering the events that came from them, which led to hundreds of thousands (millions?) more deaths, to war crimes and the dismantling of some of the American values I hold most dear, and to cycles of bloodshed, blame, and vengeance that threaten to endure for the rest of my life and beyond.

I am challenged to hold all those things in my heart tonight in remembrance. I’m challenging you to widen your circle of remembrance just a little bit.

Even if some of the deaths that followed from the US response to September 11th were right or justified or necessary – and I’m willing to accept that some of them might have been at least necessary or appropriate, although those numbers have to be a tiny proportion of those who have actually died, at home and abroad – they were deaths, and I am sorry that they were necessary.

How many more, though, have died and suffered? I refuse to limit my mourning to just some. I refuse to limit my response to death and suffering to certain circles of the “good,” especially when “good” means “like me.” I refuse to limit the actions I take to try to help and heal.

What challenges do you find in remembrance?


About Literata

Literata is a Wiccan priestess and writer. She edited Crossing the River: An Anthology in Honor of Sacred Journeys, and her poetry, rituals, and nonfiction have appeared in works such as Mandragora, Unto Herself, and Anointed as well as multiple periodicals. Literata has presented rituals and workshops at Sacred Space conference, Fertile Ground Gathering, and other mid-Atlantic venues. Literata offers healing and divination services as well as customized life-cycle rituals. She is currently completing her doctoral dissertation in history with the support of her husband and four cats.
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