11/9: A day for remembrance, a day for change

Article published on March 4, 2003
community published
Article published on March 4, 2003

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

Reflections on a day dedicated to peace

Today the whole world has stopped in order to rememberyes, but to remember what? Difficult as it is to admit, today was the day to remember how far human abomination reaches, beyond all possible explanations, beyond all power games, beyond any self-respect. I heard someones whispered mumble: it would be better not to remember Ok, but why?

Perhaps because of the shameful awareness of being part of a humankind that does not progress, does not learn, does not show that it cares about history and instead fuels hatred for all that it does not know or understand.

For the United States this has been an impossible day to erase, a day to bring flowers to a grave, to mourn those who, one year ago exactly, left us because I no longer remember, or rather, I never really knew. In reality, there is no name for certain events, no reason for certain actions. Despite all this, I do not want and cannot forget, nor can millions of honest American citizens just as many others across the world cannot, people whose moved conscience silently weeps in dark sorrow. I watch scenes relentlessly alternating on the television screen, scenes of pain, of fear, of desolation, and I seem to have seen this before. I remember now, twenty years ago, in my hometown, standing in front of heap of debris, what was left of the train station where many times as a child, drawn by my innocent curiosity, I had gone, even by myself, to watch the trains departing. On the 2nd of August 1980 that place, by someones decree, became a tomb for many lives. Who knows how many children today in New York and elsewhere in America, just like twenty years before, are clinging lost and scared to their mothers or fathers hand. They are the eyes of untouched innocence, the most impartial and sincere source of love, they are humankinds strength, that priceless reserve we all need in order to erase this blind hatred which has brought the world together today in reflection and shame.

Just as on that long past 2nd of August 1980, a father, restraining his emotions, explained the importance of not fearing the unknown and of never giving up on love, now we need to help these millions of children, Americans and not, to help them understand. This will ensure that, on the day they lose their innocence and become fully aware of how cruel and warped human nature can be, they will strive for a better world. In their world more capable and more evolved people will remember, but at the same time they will be able to be proud of their humankind, one that will have put the events of September 11th far behind it. Humankind will then be worthy of the name.