My hard drive is full. The hard drive that is my brain that is. I wish the brain was the same as a computer where you could just add new memory as needed. If that was possible I would have long ago upped my memory capacity exponentially.
Alas, absent that avenue I am stuck with what the system came with and in the new forty after collecting and storing data about four children, about friends and family, about love interests and partners (some of this data I would like erased), about phone numbers, birthdays, addresses, etc., about my areas of study, about life in general, etc., etc., etc. – there is no space remaining.
I am filled with “stuff” that spans decades and the only way I can remember anything new is to write over existing data. Of course your mind does not let you select the area you rewrite over (because I have a long list of things I would love to have removed from my memory bank) – oh no, you don’t even realize it is gone until you go to recall it and cannot.
Yet some things are forever burned in my mind…indeed burned in the collective memory…some memories we share as a nation. Such is the case for September 11, 2001. Our exact recollections may be different, but the fact that the memory is imprinted is a given. Yet, that was nine years ago – not really such a long time for someone in the new forty, but quite a long time for young adults who will be the next generation to lead. I asked my students how old they were on September 11, 2001 and the average age was 12-13. To them nine years is just a bit shy of half their time on the planet.
In my field there has been much learned from the events that led up to, transpired during and occurred after September 11, 2001 – in my field we must remember what we have learned and incorporate it into our operational knowledge. Other folks though, folks who don’t focus on this in their day-to-day life, likely only think of this event on rare occasions…time passes, memories fade, the initial horror of it becomes part of what we know as being a reality in our collective conscience, we may not forget – but over time parts of that memory may be written over.
I ask you today to take a few moments to remember not only the event and those lost either as a result of the attack or in the military action post attack, but also what we have learned from the event – may we never forget the lessons…for to do so is to allow those who have given so much to have given it in vain.
Day four hundred and thirty-two of the new forty – obla di obla da
“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.”
~President George W. Bush, November 11, 2001