To the Editor:
Sept.11 seems to mark the end of what has become a strange holy season in the United States. It begins with the military solemnity of Memorial Day and extends through the pride of Flag Day to the celebration of Independence Day. For weeks, before and after, people make explosions that mimic bombs. The season culminates in Patriot Day, in which we commonly hear the phrase “Never Forget.”
Yet what is it that we should never forget? Is it some offense that requires continual repayment? Over 15 years of war suggests such. If so, then the holiday is not appropriate for Christians to observe. Or is it the lives lost on that day? If so, shouldn’t we be extending the remembrance to all of the lives lost since that day, and supposedly because of that day? The number of these remembrances is now in the millions.
I saw a yard sign that read: “9-11: Never Forget” in front of a house as if it were a tardy Christmas decoration. It seems like Christians, too, should never forget. They should never forget that they have a capacity for sin and idolatry within a culture that is increasingly filled with war remembrances.
One curious fact is worth noting. Mother’s Day, which precedes Memorial Day in the summer holiday season, began in the United States as an anti-war protest. It is revealing that with all of the remembering of war things, we have forgotten this fact.