Today is the 12th anniversary of September 11th. As if you didn’t already know.
Our principal announced that this day is now referred to as Patriot’s Day. I’m trying to remember if I knew that already. Did we call it that last year?
Today social media is flooded with pictures and sentiments about this day. There will be a lot of “We will never forget”s scrawled across waving American flags and silhouettes of the twin towers.
And I will absolutely be avoiding it at all costs.
We all deal with national tragedy differently. Tragedies affect people in different ways. The more obvious manifestation of that is the fact that actual tragedy affects the people where it happened more profoundly than those who were far away. More subtly, every person is uniquely affected, no matter where they were or what happened to them specifically that day. And, understandably, we all process our feelings in unique ways. Grief is not uniform and everyone grapples with tragedy differently.
I am not the kind of person that wants to post a waving flag or silhouette of the two towers on my FB page. I absolutely support those who do, but I hope I am not judged for choosing not to or for opting out of Liking or commenting on them. I hope we can all remember that everyone processes these anniversaries differently. There is no right, or appropriate way. My response should not be judged as a representation of my patriotism. The differences in what I do and what you do does not signify some deep chasm between us. We are both doing exactly the same thing: precisely what we personally need to do to process this day.
I don’t write this post because I feel I’ve been judged or attacked for my actions (or lack thereof); I write it because I notice the difference in my reaction compared to the reactions of others and I notice how uneasy it makes me feel, wondering if others notice it too. I write this because I want to assure others who feel similarly that they are not alone and that the way the way they feel is absolutely okay.
If scrolling through a million 9/11 updates makes you uncomfortable, if you’ll be abstaining from all the articles shared, if you’re going to do your best to avoid talking about it you’re not alone. And there is nothing wrong with you either.