Where were you ten years ago today on 11 September 2001? Chances are you remember. It was a beautiful day in New York until the skies turned dark with smoke.
The ten year anniversary of the World Trade Center destruction, and other attacks, is garnering a lot of attention. This day is getting more remembrance than, let’s say 22 April 2008. Advertisers are exploiting the opportunity, running emotionally-charged spots urging rememberance and gratitude. The President gave a speech.
Mindfulness suggests that we would treat each moment the same. This is hard to do, especially when one day in particular was traumatic in a way, collectively, we had not experienced before. On this anniversary, I’m concerned that the gravity of that day gets reduced to an elaborate sound byte.
How can we live our lives, awake, authentic, and accountable to the things that are most important? How can we be true to painful memories without becoming morbid? How can we honor the memory of that day without rationalizing more hatred, destruction, and grief?
I don’t know. I suspect that cultivating mindfulness helps us to stay connected without becoming overwhelmed. I suspect that practicing mindfulness helps us to be true without letting ourselves off the hook for the problems in the world.
Every day is poignant, filled with beauty and pain. Every day is a tribute to those fallen and never forgotten.