The day after

     It’s September 12th today. The day after 9/11. Most people are done posting the heartfelt, sympathetic messages and Never Forget statuses online. Every year, when the tragic anniversary occurs, it’s the same deal. We wake up with the sad reminder of the horrendous act that occurred in 2001; we join in a national moment of silence every morning; we read and watch news about commemorating the brave lives lost; we fold our hands and send out prayers; and then most of us don’t really speak of it until the next year — it’s a cycle.
     It’s sad, and I personally hate “the day after.” I despise the fact that anything that saddens me right this second will be soon be removed from my immediate attention. I feel guilty…how can we be sad one day, but happy the next, as if nothing ever happened? How can we go on to the next day and smile and laugh and move on with our lives? How can we continue to live contently when there is so much sorrow in the world, so much loss?
     Amongst the sadness though, I think the reassurance of hope is what gets us by. There is good that outshines the bad every single day, and that makes our world worth living in.
     As Anne Frank once said, “In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart…I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.”
     Optimism like this reminds me that we must move forward. I guess we can’t spend every waking moment grieving about the past. But we can live out the promise to Never Forget.
     Never Forget is not just a two-word phrase to say to the world on the anniversary of a heartbreaking tragedy, like 9/11 or the Holocaust. It’s a mindset — to forever commemorate the lives lost and heroes gone. It’s the promise to always keep them in our hearts and remember that life should not be taken for granted.
     Always remember — whether it’s the day after, the month after, or the year after — everyday is a day to remember and pay our respects.

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