I remember being told not to dwell on something that has happened. "Don't dwell on it!", they would say. The "they" was all the adults in my life growing up. I do believe one of their favorite idioms was, "Don't cry over spilt milk." It was always as if suppressing the feelings, facing the fears and anger would do something to your well-being. Sad thing is, as we remember this day for the events of 9/11/2001, I can still hear people saying we shouldn't dwell on it. "It doesn't do any good to dredge up those old feelings."
I wonder how we cannot be given pause on a day like today. I remember where I was when I saw the first plane fly into one of the twin towers. It was on TV. Katie Couric was reporting that a plane had flown directly into the side of the building. At first the streaming pictures made it look like a small plane had flown off course and into the World Trade Center. Then they reported it was a passsenger plane. That is when the horror of that morning began to set in.
As with most of us of an age who experienced the terror, the horror, the disbelief of that crisp, clear early autumn day, we all remember, usually in slow motion, where and what we did that morning. I went to work, not realizing that the towers would soon fall. When that happened, we sent everyone home, closed the office. Just a few of us were left to decide what to do next. We just didn't know what to expect. Would there be a follow-up attack on the west coast? No one knew.
The uncertainty and the anquish of that day comes back every 9/11. How can we not dwell on it? It is not spilt milk. It is something that changed our lives forever. Like so many other security shattering events before and after, it is something that cannot be ignored.
So here I am. Hands folded. Remembering. Thinking something like that cannot happen again. But then there's Paris, San Bernardino, school shootings, assassination attempts, very scary political news every day. And then I realize, this is the new norm, the new reality. And I have to say, I am thinking about it, dwelling on it, almost all of the time.