Every year when another 9/11 anniversary happens I wonder when something is going to change. The message I see continues to be “never forget.” Never forget what, exactly? Which part? The media and our politicians tell us to never forget, but then they always seem to have a specific thing we should remember. To me, that reeks of exploitation, not recognition.

Here’s an example of what seems like some pretty popular images. All the images refer to the location of one of the plane crashes/attacks. All the images are patriotic in nature.

I finally figured out what my problem is with being told to never forget 9/11. Media and politicians should instead be talking about who to remember. I’d rather remember the first responders who helped people on 9/11. I’d rather remember the men and women of the military who have been through multiple tours – somewhere overseas – because 9/11 happened.

Never forgetting how planes were crashed into buildings in NYC and people died is just recreating grief and trauma. I’m not saying people shouldn’t grieve, hell no. But we could skip the traumatic images and the jingoism.

We also don’t talk about the health problems that first responders who worked the scene(s) of the 9/11 attacks still face (Ground Zero). It has it’s own wikipedia page for gods’ sake! No one wants to caption pictures like this though. Or talk about cancer.

This looks to be a very thorough discussion about the PEOPLE involved in the rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero. Let’s remember the fire fighters, paramedics, utility workers, disaster recovery workers, and volunteers too.

Let’s grieve for the people who died and then remember the people who are still here. Let’s start remembering the people involved in rescue and recovery on that day (and who still rescue others). Let’s remember the people fighting and dying in our wars (still today). Let’s change what the anniversary of 9/11 is about. Do first responders have their own day of recognition yet?

You want a patriotic image to remember 9/11? Something like this makes so much more sense to me…. (Found here.)



It appears I might be adding to this throughout the day. Here’s a great collection of one of the things wrong with “remembering” the anniversary of 9/11. Go, look at the article, skim through the twitter posts from corporations. Some of the images are quite distasteful. There is sooo many different ways to recognize the 9/11 anniversary. Remembering the people who died and served is respectful. Product placement with an American flag? Not so much.

Updated again:

Here’s a tribute to the New York City Firefighters who gave their lives (or should I say give?) to help people 13 years ago today.

And here’s an article on somebody else I totally hadn’t considered…. the rescue dogs that helped out rescue workers. Over 300 were there 13 years ago.