Memories and Burdens

I can’t imagine what it would be like to remember in a visceral way the Holocaust. I have read the memories of others, first hand accounts of the horrors people endured and the deep pain of watching loved ones be carried away, first to camps, then to chambers of death.

It’s “9/11″… Again. On this sixteenth anniversary, not one person has been convicted for the “tower-felling spectacle of terror”.

“Do most Americans care about Guantanamo? No. But they never did. And they never understood Guantanamo.” So says Nancy Hollander, a lawyer in a “Gitmo” case, speaking to Al Jazeera. Members of the families of persons who died that day are not of one mind as to how to proceed with the trials – sixteen years and not one trial! But it’s not the perpetrators that stir our memories; it’s the loved ones, the innocent ones, the victims and the heroes.

Autumn Bryant‘s mother was in labor as the planes hit the towers. “For 12 hours,” writes Autumn, “my mom watched and listened to one of the biggest tragedies known in American history unfold, all while giving birth to her first child.” Autumn is a “9/11 baby”. She says she never has to worry about people forgetting her birthday. Autumn writes that the day is a reminder “of what we have to lose and what we have to be thankful for.”

We will go about our business today, but with the awareness that this is one of those days that changed everything. The day is a burden. We carry it as best we can in our individual and collective attempts to heed Autumn’s words: remember all that we have to be thankful for.


Mark Demers

Want to talk about sex, politics, spirituality? So do I. I grew up in a religious home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our country was reeling from assassinations and the devastation of the Viet Nam War. Looking for something beautiful, I got a degree in music, married the love of my life and had children. Looking for God, I then went to seminary. Looking for something that might transform the world, I became a local church pastor. Now, I’m always looking for people who want to talk about important things. I cherish conversations with emerging leaders, people who are antsy to try an idea they believe would change the world for the better. I’d would love to hear from you.