ALL Lives Matter

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As yet another September 11th approaches, with a 3-hour televised reading-of-names, we should be asking ourselves why (even after 15 years) these particular lives seem to matter more than others. Regardless of your beliefs about destiny and happenstance or your definition of a true hero, there has never been an event in history that has been as publicly commemorated as this one.

September 11th is now part of our history and our culture – alongside two World Wars, too many genocides and the Holocaust. But we have never before dedicated a single day, every year, to publicly name those millions of people who have perished. Didn’t their lives matter, too?

Tragedy and heartbreak come in many forms – death from disease, arson, shootings, car and plane crashes. Who are we to decide whose death is more horrific or more memorable? We ALL matter both in life and in death. Isn’t it possible that the 9/11 families are not so much ‘honoring’ their dead as making their own lives (and losses) matter more?

New York has renamed countless bridges and streets in honor of politicians, policemen and even sports figures. The 9/11 Memorial, in its entirety, takes up much of downtown Manhattan. Since when isn’t a ‘moment of silence’ – generally heard around the world – enough?

I’ve always felt bad for people born on September 11th. How do you celebrate your special day when there’s such sadness all around? Do children innocently ask their parents why THEIR names aren’t being read aloud? Everyone grieves in a different way but most observances are kept private.

There’s a time and a place for remembrance of all kinds. But I believe it’s up to individuals to take on that personal burden if they so choose. We will never forget the events of September 11,2001. But isn’t the whole point for us to move ON and look FORWARD to a brighter future?

 

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For The Record

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“All you need is LOVE…” Is it really that simple? So much of what we’re told to believe in is a lie. As children, we’re ‘lied to for our own good.’ As we get older and have witnessed, first hand, some of the less-than-fair parts of life, we reexamine our beliefs and challenge hypocrisy.

All the pretty little sayings and colorful cards we’ve both given and have received seem to take on a whole new meaning. Sure, they’re still nice to read but we’re far less gullible about their sugary messages than our younger and less experienced selves.

When you’re older and they tell you you’ve shrunk, you can accept it because you know that your heart, at least, is still capable of growing and loving. And after watching what you eat your entire life, upon reaching a certain golden age, you just kind of smile, nod and continue to pile on that sugar and spice.

But when they tell you (without just cause) that you’re too old to do something, you just look them square in the eye and say,“talk to me when YOU’RE my age.” After all, who even cares if you ‘look your age’ as long as you ‘don’t act it?’ And, for the record, there will always be plenty of love to go around!