So you’re not going to get a funny quote or lyric or fact to start this one off. Because there’s nothing funny about what I have to say.
I recently watched a movie with my dad, Extremely Loud, Incredibly Close (2011). If you haven’t seen it then this needs to be the feature film of your next movie night. It didn’t earn a ton of (or any) awards, but it is filled with an A-list cast, and it will break your heart, in the best possible way.
I’m not going to spoil the plot for those of you who haven’t seen it, but I will tell you that it is a movie that touches on the most difficult moment in recent American history. After 9/11, I would say that every single American has invisible scars. Scars that hurt when a grown man is terrified of flying, when you watch a movie filmed pre-2001, when a child asks where you were on that day because they just learned about it in school.
We all hurt that day. We all still hurt. But we’re human, so we think that we have to hide that hurt. We think that we have to forget about the past to have a future. Well, I say forgive and forget if you need to, but forgive and never forget if you can.
Remember the heroism of the people who ran into the towers after the first plane hit. Remember the courage of all the single parents who had to explain to their children what had happened to their mother or father. Remember the neighbors who gave each other hugs when it was just too much.
Remember the brave school children who stand up against bullying. Remember counselor and therapists and social workers who work every day to convince individuals that they are worthy of a fantastic life and don’t need to commit suicide. Remember the couple who loves their child even if he or she disagrees with everything they learned in childhood.
Remember that every person you meet is fighting a battle. That we all have invisible scars and maybe, just maybe, they’re what makes us fun and beautiful and amazing creatures.