Never Forget


Today is an anniversary that we are admonished never to forget.  I concur with the idea, as long as we don’t forget the right things.  I want to “Never Forget” a time where heroes and heroines gave to themselves to prevent or diminish the attack on our nation. I want to “Never Forget” those who rushed into buildings to save others.  I want to “Never Forget” the way the hospitals and medical personnel responded.  I want to remember a world where we united in revulsion against terrorism.  I want to remember a time when being a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independent seemed less important and when we accepted help from the community of nations around the world who shared their condolences.  I want to remember the young men and women who stepped forward to serve in the military and changed their life plans to serve our nation.  I want to remember a time where we again gathered to worship and flew flags proudly (and the flags were not beat up, faded, or torn).  I don’t want to forget a time when people applauded when they saw our armed service members getting on, or off, a plane.

I do not, however, want to use the phrase “Never Forget” to hold onto hatred, to generalize entire populations or religions, or to think of the world in an “us” versus “them” mentality.  I do not want to use the phrase “Never Forget” as a rallying phrase to think that we can bomb our way back to where we were.  I never want to use the phrase, “Never Forget” to eliminate the freedoms we enjoy (that were won for us at the cost of many lives) in the name of ever increasing security.  I don’t want the phrase, “Never Forget” to be an excuse not to get to know my neighbor or figure out why people would ever think 9/11 was in anyway justified (which, of course, it wasn’t but it is important to understand our enemies).  We need to understand the ideas that are bounced around about us to contradict them. I never want the phrase, “Never Forget” to mean that I have to check my faith at the door or forget what makes America great.  I never want the phrase, “Never forget” to mean that war is so common that we forget the places where we have deployed our forces. I also don’t want it to mean that the only thing that makes a battlefield death newsworthy is if Westboro Baptist shows up at the funeral.  I don’t want “Never Forget” to mean we go it alone and don’t work with our allies and our friends in this world.  I don’t want “Never Forget” to mean any of those things.  

Let’s always remember – but let’s remember the right things,

What do you think?

Until next time,



About Tom Paine

I am a Presbyterian Minister and ANG Chaplain interested in current events, movies, TV, and novels.
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One Response to Never Forget

  1. Mr. Chaos says:

    I 100% agree! I actually posted something very similar this morning. We all remember the images of devastation and death but, in my mind at least, it is much more important to remember the rest of the story. Families that forgot feuds and rekindled their relationships. Parents who took the opportunity to hug their children a bit tighter. Lines of people waiting to give blood stretching for blocks. More than anything I remember the way our nation came together, and it saddens me to see us so split again. Great post! I wish I could have said it even half as well.

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