Burned into our memory: 9/11

While I'm not in the US being inundated with 9/11 coverage my facebook feed has not escaped.  It's not that I don't recall this day eleven years with sorrow for those who lost loved ones in the senseless attacks as well as those families who lost sons and daughters in its aftermath with the ensuing wars, it's just that I wish that people would recognize that this tragic assault on unsuspecting America changed the lives of many not only living in the US but around the world.

A friend's facebook post got me thinking more about how Americans recall this event: "Eleven years later, I remember each detail like it was yesterday and eleven years later I still cannot find the words."  While I can relate to this statement on many levels, I myself recall precisely where I was when I heard the news; I wonder about the people who live through more systematic violence that interrupts their life on a daily basis recount events.  As someone who has to ask survivors of violence and torture regularly about the problems they and their families have endured I am curious how they are able to find the words to reconstruct these similarly terrible events.  Human resilience amazes me.  Sometimes they have crystal clear memories of the day(s) in question and others cannot bring themselves to revisit, much less restate, the tragedies.  The mind is a funny thing. 

What do you remember about that day?  Is 9-11 a crystal clear picture in your mind of where you were and what you were doing or is it hazy and hard to recollect?

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