I don’t want to write about 9/11…

…but posting about anything else today seems perverse, despite the fact that the media’s collective fixation on the terrorist attack—endlessly replaying old footage, reliving the horror and fear and desolation of that awful day—seems even more perverse. Our single-minded, backward-looking focus distorts how we see the world. It blinds us to other horrors, tragedies, and injustices, which is particularly heartbreaking when we create some of those other horrors, tragedies, and injustices ourselves in our reckless, unmeasured response to what we suffered.

Of course we can’t forget, but as a nation, at least, we can move on. We can leave September 11 to history, where it can be part of who we are rather than the overwhelming, defining Thing. Maybe we can best honor those who died by letting them become part of the past rather than the vicious, vituperative present, and maybe the present could become a little less ugly if we could let those wounds close at last.

All I know for sure is that the way things are now gives far too much power to those who hurt us and far too little power to our better, braver selves.