Painful Memories

Visitors to the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site next to Ground Zero

Anniversaries, funerals, and memorial services have always given me mixed feelings. I completely understand the need for a nation to gather on a historic day to reflect on lives cut short by hate, but on the purely personal level, memorializing is not something I relish.

It has something to do with asking to feel the turmoil, pain and anxiety again. Reflecting on days of great tragedy become days of great tragedy again, something that makes me want to run and hide on an emotional level. But I have done so all week, reading many reflections, viewing many photos and listening to many recollections on NPR.

It’s necessary to feel the pain again, to feel the anger again, I just don’t like it. A part of me feels like we’re letting the terrorists invade our psyche again. It’s the same feeling that many athletes and boxers understand: Never show the opponent that you are hurt. Don’t let them see your pain. Make them think everything is okay.

I’ll be glad when we can put the anniversary behind us and go back to “normal” lives. Of course, in hindsight, that’s what we tried to do as a nation 10 years ago.

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