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September 11 September 11, 2011

Posted by Nina Rosenstand in Current Events, Ethics, Nina Rosenstand's Posts.
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On this 10th anniversary of 9/11 we are reminded of how we felt on that day of horror. Appropriately, we are asked to remember those lives that were lost—Americans and foreigners, businessmen and -women, tourists, maintenance workers, vendors, police officers, firefighters, and military personnel. And the passengers on the four hijacked planes, including the now legendary Flight 93 where resolute people saved our nation from utter chaos by fighting back, resulting in the plane crashing into a field in Pennsylvania, and not into the White House or the Capitol.  So is it now time to “Move On”? That depends on what we mean. Time to forgive? That is not an option open to most of us. Forgiveness can only come from those directly affected—the victims and their relatives. Time to forget? For the survivors that is not possible. And for the rest of us? Whether it fits into our world view or not, time will now make 9/11 recede into history, and what we are left with ought to be a memory of the pain, of the unity we felt as a people that day, and an understanding of the enormity of the event, untrivialized. Individually, we can choose our own interpretation of why it happened, from our chosen perspective—as long as it doesn’t differ from the accumulated evidence. Whatever our personal version and our political leanings, there is something we should indeed not forget: that while close to 3000 people lost their lives, more than an estimated 20,000 people were rescued that day by fellow human beings who risked their lives to save others, in many cases at the cost of their own. The passengers of Flight 93 will be remembered, but in the Towers, on the ground, and at the Pentagon there were also people who selflessly put their own lives at risk to help others—civilians as well as police, firefighters and military men and women. When we think back at the losses, we should also think of the lives saved, and the heroic decisions made by ordinary people facing an inconceivably horrible and chaotic situation…