the need to remember the need to remember

Some things don’t get forgotten, as much as you wish you could. No false memories; maybe a few blanks in the timeframe, but no loss of emotions.

Tonight in our Ulpan class, our teacher took the last 15 minutes of our class to do a history lesson. Most of the people in our class are Russian. Our teacher, who had told us that he was 30 years old, was a kid in high school. Yet, he deemed it important enough to teach us some key vocabulary words to mark the occasion.

We learned how to say twin towers in Hebrew; בנייני התאומים (our teacher used the word for “buildings”, rather than “towers”, so that was what was new to me.)

how to say collapsed; קרסו or התמוטטו (You need two words, apparently; I didn’t know either one.)

(Someone from the class mentioned that this is what happened in Tel Aviv last week, with the collapse of the parking lot. Yes, tragedies keep occurring.)

terrorist attack; killed; wounded; missing. I knew these…

I remember my first Ulpan class, back in 1972 (!) at Hebrew University. The first words we learned were: suspicious object; bomb; explosion. I remember them very very well. That was life on a daily basis back then here.

We here in Israel learn to be sensitive to pain of others, despite world opinion. Not only are we not immune to the pain of others here in Israel, but we are taught the words to help us be sensitive.

A new Never Forget.

This article at the Week states that there are multiple ghosts from September 11 that keep haunting us.

On a more somber level, people are still dying from cancer and other ailments tied to the heroic search for survivors and human remains at Ground Zero. There were 2,996 people killed in the attack itself, including 411 firefighters and police officers, but at least 653 rescue workers have also died since, Newsweek reports, many or most of them sickened by the “massive plume of carcinogens” released with the dust and smoke from the crumbling towers that transformed lower Manhattan into “a cesspool of cancer and deadly disease.”

In all, as many as 400,000 people have been directly adversely affected by 9/11, including disease and mental illness, Newsweek estimates, citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The psychological afflictions include post-traumatic stress, addiction, behavioral issues, and anxiety. The number of people still hurting surely exceeds that half-million estimate.

I wrote about my personal experiences on this date here. And the question that I asked, “What are we going to do about it?”

Still remains a hole, except now it’s worldwide.

Today, the most insidious residue from 9/11 is probably fear.

New Jersey Memorial 9/11

3 thoughts on “the need to remember the need to remember

  1. I find it hard to watch documentaries on this because they are so upsetting. Not for people with anxiety and other mental problems. What I do is escape to good cartoons and use my Color Therapy app. They make me feel better.


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