September, Forever

“What are you doing for September 11?”
I’m seeing it everywhere. Hearing it everywhere. Everyone’s planning something or thinking about planning something. Or deciding if they’re going to think about planning something. Thinkplandecideplanthinkthinkthinkplandecide. Yeah.
As for me, well, I don’t know what I’m going to do. Probably my regular stuff. Because, you see, I don’t believe in setting aside one day to remember something. I remember September 11, 2001 every day. Every morning when I look down Fifth Avenue and see the enormous blank space in the sky a mile and a half away where the towers used to be … 130 Liberty shrouded in black, adorned in a huge American flag that stares back at me, almost defiant in its pride … I can’t help but remember.
The other day, I stood on Broadway on the west side of Madison Square Park and waited for the light to change so I could cross Broadway and then Fifth Avenue (they converge at that point). I looked left (south), down Fifth Avenue, and immediately gasped and actually staggered backward a step or two as I realized that it was from that exact vantage point that I witnessed the collapse of the first tower almost a year ago and heard my screams echoing in my head along with those of everyone else around me.
But I don’t have to actually see the indescribably vacant space in the skyline to be reminded of what happened that day. Although I have been down to “Ground Zero” several times, I don’t need to go there to be reminded of what used to be. Just as I don’t need to see the events rehashed on television. And I don’t have to, or even want to, talk about it. Some things, for me, are better left unsaid. The sound of silence is golden indeed.
I will say this, however: I fear that “September 11” will eventually go the way of other recognized days. It will only be remembered on its anniversary, remembered only when the calendar says so. If you truly want to remember September 11, remember it every day. Don’t just set aside one day a year to remember what happened.
I fear that September 11 will become as commercialized as Valentine’s Day, when people “love” each other because they are told to do so on that specific day. I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day at all. I love those I love year-round. I do not need a calendar to remind me that I love someone or that someone loves me. I’m just happy there is love.
So yes, on September 11, I will remember what happened. But I won’t remember just because it’s September 11. I’ll remember because I haven’t forgotten about it every other day. And I never will.