On Not Forgetting

On Not Forgetting September 11, 2011

I am seriously tempted to repost at least half of Hank’s posts since they’re so frequently so perfectly worded. Earlier tonight I excerpted from Stephanie’s eloquent case for forgetting. Here, for contrast, is Hank explaining the logic of “never forgetting”:

Have you ever been stabbed in the back? By which I mean, really betrayed by someone you trusted?

You feel hurt at first, but afterward angry. The level of trust betrayed probably defines the level of anger.

You get into a business deal with friends, and you later discover they’ve not only fucked you over royally, they intended to fuck you over from the beginning. Or you’re married and you find out your husband is boinking another woman. Worse, he picked up a disease from her, and has now given it to you. Unbelievably worse, that other woman was your own sister.

Yeah, like that. In either case, you’d be SERIOUSLY pissed.

I know how forgiveness works, and I agree it should be very high on the list of social tools we all carry around in our heads. Forgiveness speaks of the future, whereas a grudge leaves you nailed to the past. The good thing about forgiveness is that it sets you-the-victim free from the poison of the situation.

But …

Some betrayals are so large, I don’t know if they should be forgiven. Some betrayals are so large, not just to you but to others, that to forgive them is to commit a second betrayal. You can’t help but carry on indefinitely with the memory of what happened.

He continues, with his memories of the 9/11, his take on the aftermath, and the other tragedy besides the attacks of 9/11 that he has not forgotten.

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