Find your own way to remember 9/11

Last year, on Sept. 11 and 12, the front pages of newspapers reflected and helped set the predominant tone today’s date holds for many of us: grief. The New York Times emboldened “Grief” on its cover; “Grief Endure(s) Across Region” appeared on The Washington Post’s; Americans were “United in Grief” according to top headlines from both the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Press of Atlantic City. From coast to coast citizens were united.

The San Francisco Chronicle’s front page told us “The grief cycle is endless …” for some families who lost relatives in the Flight 93 crash. Perhaps the tenor we as a society give 9/11 each year perpetuates their sadness.

Must today be, as Franklin D. Roosevelt said of Dec. 7, 1941 when the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor – “a date which will live in infamy?”

Of course, we cannot evade the implications of the past and experiencing grief has its place. Nor can we lighten today’s mood fully with tributes to the lives lost on 9/11, or to 9/11’s heroes or to anything else. But, we can try to clear at least some of the fog that envelopes Sept. 11, 2007.

If you don’t feel as much grief today as you think you should, don’t feel pressured to – you have a right to your life apart from the atmosphere society sets. But, whatever happiness you might have, spread it somehow: volunteer for a cause you support, smile at a stranger or thank a teacher.

Remember that about 10,000 Americans were born on Sept. 11, 2001. They do not replace the lives lost, nor do they negate the grief. But they do represent America moving on.

Douglas Lucas is a senior English and philosophy major from Fort Worth.