Posted by: Terri Johnston Fraracci | September 11, 2011

I wish we would qualify the general statement, ‘Never Forget’.

I wish we would qualify (to describe by enumerating the characteristics or qualities of; characterize) the general statement “Never Forget”. In my eyes, the statement suggests tucking everything about that day into our pockets & continuing to carry it everywhere we go, as a way of honoring the heroes and the fallen. The idea of hanging on to all of it, which includes the pain, shock, anger, fear, horror, & loss of 9/11, bothers me.

I embrace the beautiful tributes that honor the fallen and the heroes with dignity, love, and respect. But I don’t understand why we replay the violent, horrifying scenes and reactions over and over again, as well. To what end? What purpose does it serve to relive the pain? Can we change anything by holding on to it? 

I will NEVER FORGET to honor the lost, keep those who lost someone & those who worked so selflessly in my prayers, but I don’t want to be so stuck in the abhorrence of what happened, that I can’t step into the light today with love, hope, faith, and commitment to live love now. That’s how I want to honor them….. not in unresolved fear, anger, & resentment, replaying the horror over and over again, but in resolve to do better, in their honor, for the sake of us all.

Never forget to keep the fallen and the selfless in our prayers. But also never forget that there may be a better way to honor (to show great respect for someone or something) them – through your actions today. That’s what I want to remember, not what happened, but what I can do.

God bless everyone who is in pain today. May you find comfort. And God bless those of us who struggle to lay the horror of 9/11 to rest. Help us to find our way in healing, so that we may begin to let go of what happened, and begin to embrace opportunities to live lives dedicated to light, love, compassion, acceptance, and action.


This is what I want to remember: Not what happened, but what I can do.



  1. I agree – I feel that replaying the ugliness, the destruction, etc. only gives more power to those who injured us. Even if we can not forgive or forget, we can relax the memory of the pain and the horror. Each time they show these aspects you mention on tv, it reminds me of helplessness rather than heroism. I want to honor those who lost or gave their lives but lets focus on their beauty and our beauty as a country. Thanks Terri

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are welcome. Well said! Thank you Susan 🙂


  3. Certainly you wrote this for me today. You’ve put so beautifully into words how important it is to remember, place in our hearts and prayers and move on. Thank you Terri

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are so very welcome Eileen. Thank you 🙂


  5. Hi Terri, you know … I had many thoughts/questions during the weekend of 9-11 … some you have articulated beautifully. In this process of collective mourning, as a nation, I’m not sure what should happen though. Maybe each person simply has to find their own way through this shocking violence and maybe that takes more time than we can possibly imagine. I truly don’t know. I guess we stumble through grief by and large … but maybe one day … a brighter light will prevail … one of lasting peace for all. Have a good week, and know that I think of you often! –Daisy


  6. Hi Daisy,
    Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I DO believe that everyone has to find their own way through grief. I also know that many of the people who lost loved ones or helped during the tragedy also found it difficult to have the horrific scenes replayed over and over. And I know, from my own experience how painful that can be. Perhaps that’s where much of my perspective comes from. That, and the belief that clinging to the event itself prohibits healing for many.

    I would be the last person to suggest that an individual’s grief should go a certain way. I’m glad you brought that up. But I would like to encourage the collective group (our nation) to reach for the brighter light you speak of for the sake of sensitivity, a move toward healing, and the chance to embrace doing what we can today.
    Thank you again. Your comment is thought provoking.
    Wishing you a wonderful week as well :).


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