So...I know she hates when I do this but I have an Apprenticeship Group Student and a good friend by the name of Nichele Jackson. Many of you have met her at various events I've done over the years and she'll also be attending Detroit next month.
The part that she hates is when I tell people that she's a 9/11 survivor. Now, I'm not going to go into details about exactly what happened to her. (You can buy her a drink at the bar when you see her in Detroit and she'll tell you all about it.) But I can tell you that she is one of many who have gone through hell due to the physical, mental, and emotional stresses from that one day that has echoed through the past 20 years in the harshest ways imaginable.
But she's healed a lot over the years even though she does still house a lot of the PTSD in her soul somewhere. Every day is a new day. Every day is a moment for a new beginning.
I had a conversation about 9/11 with her a year or so ago. I told her that I disagreed with the annual hoorah "rehashment" of the tragedy this country had to endure. To heal means to move on......to forgive and forget...and Nichele agreed with me.
Now, you might argue that we should hold big annual ceremonies to "never forget" the incident that happened 20 years ago.
Before you insist that this is the righteous thing to do, first ask yourself this:
If you were trying to heal from a traumatic rape, for example, would it be helpful if you had to revisit the incident blow-by-blow, remembering every detail, including holding annual ceremonies about the incident on the day it happened every single year? Would that help your healing? Would that make you feel better by doing this?
Or...would you just rather move past it?
Now, the other thing you need to ask yourself is...
Are you a survivor of 9/11?
Because, if you aren't, then you don't have an opinion about forcing an annual commemorative against the wishes of those who have survived...and of those who wish to move on to brighter days ahead, leaving this sordid and unspeakable past behind.
People like Nichele and many, many others.
Nobody can heal if you keep stabbing the wound open over and over again with a sharp knife.
So, those are my thoughts about today and all the annual "hoopla" that surrounds 9/11. While I honor those who have lost their lives on that fateful day, I can guarantee you that all of those people who have passed on are in a much better place than we are now.
I'd rather honor those who are still alive, those who are still struggling on a daily basis with PTSD -- not to mention the physical damage that has come from two collapsing buildings -- and helping to make their lives easier, better, and brighter.
Those who are still with us.
Why can't we honor them by NOT dredging up the pain of the past for yet another year?
Just my two cents.
See you at the top!