Cultural amnesia, a culture of forgetting...I do not believe that this happens in the long run. Whenever a catastrophe occurs, forgetting is the initial, adaptive mechanism to the pain and utter shock of an event. We forget how horrifically we treat each other. History gives us a lesson. Take Hiroshima. The internment of Japanese Americans during WWII in the United States. Jews during WWII. (Did you know that the all Japanese American (mainly second generation) 442nd RCT actually liberated Dachau? The irony of the interned, who were held behind barbed wire and were only allowed out to fight for the country that interned them, liberating a concentration camp behind barbed wire--thanks to my husband for bringing my attention to this irony. Helping the war cause was the only way out of the internment camps.) The fear of anyone of Middle Eastern descent being a terrorist immediately after 9/11.
We are left with the physical and emotional aftermath of gut-renching fear and borderline hysteria. Then we slowly pick up the pieces, and life goes on. We oscillate between reliving the moment and then, trying to forget it. Sometimes we forget, even for a little while, and things seem to get better. Then anniversary reactions trigger our emotional, mental, and physical remembering of chaos and pain. The visceral, immobilizing kind; the kind shrouded by the dark cloak of fear. I don't believe that forgiving and forgetting go hand-in-hand.
Later generations, not affected by the events, instinctively know that something is off, something has happened--and they live with the silence and the pain. They know no other way to live.
***My anxiety is heightened over each news blurb concerning our country on this anniversary. I cannot help but click on every online news article that I see that deals in some way with the anniversary of 9/11. I think that I am trying to find reassurance that everything is going to be okay. That we can go on without fear.