Let me tell a story that has nothing to do with 9/11.
I know a family who lost a daughter to a car crash a few years back. That’s a pain that fades but never truly goes away. That’s a pain that can frequently return in full force, for nothing more than a random memory. It can’t be understood until it is experienced (and I have not experienced it).
In talking with this family, it really comforts them to know that their friends want to remember their daughter.
Remembering 9/11 is a little like that. If we celebrate at all, it’s the fact that we’re still here, but it’s less about celebrating than venerating. We share in a pain that most can’t understand, if only a little, and by so doing draw a little closer together. Is that not worthwhile? Can we not devote a bit of brainspace to drawing together, at a time when great pressures are trying to tear us apart?
Remember how it brought out the best in all of us. Where did that goodness go? Surely it is still there, hiding inside of us, waiting for someone or something to draw it out. Remember, and be a little better for it.