We are commanded to remember. “Remember the Shabbat day and keep it holy.” “Remember what Amalek did to you.” Will we forget if we are not commanded to remember?
American poet Maya Angelou wrote, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
I remember sitting in my office 19 years ago this morning when I heard the shouting from the conference room. People were huddled over the TV watching the horrific scenes from the Twin Towers.
At first, I remember feeling disbelief. This can’t really be happening. But it was happening, so the anger kicked in. The concern for loved ones followed. September 11, 2001 may have been my least productive day of work ever, as I sat glued to the TV screen to catch even a glimpse of new information.
I remember the sense of hope as our whole country rallied together following President Bush’s incredibly moving public address. That speech earned him a 90% approval rating, the most together our politically diverse country had felt in a long time. Sad that it took such a catastrophe to bring our country together.
I remember the renewed rage when I saw video clips of those rejoicing at our suffering.
I remember the appreciation in seeing the 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza in Israel, the only memorial outside of the United States that lists all the names of our 9/11 victims. Terrorism had been a foreign concept to most Americans until that devastating day, but sadly, Israel was no stranger to terrorism. I remember the pride I felt when Israel transitioned on that day from being only a recipient of American support to being an empathetic supporter of Americans.
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