Why We Should Never Forget


I believe that “erasing” or weakening the memories of a traumatic event via pharmacological methods or other forms of distraction only serves to shortcut the human healing process. Obviously, there are healthy and unhealthy coping methods for dealing with trauma (Pyszczynski, Sheldon, and Greenberg, 2003). I have written about that here. Studies have shown that the most effective was to deal with traumatic stress is to do just that…deal with it (Lilienfield and Loftus, 1998). I am not  sure that a pill is always the best way to deal with anything. You may argue, “Do we not give morphine to a person with a broken leg?” Sure we do. However, morphine is not given to heal a broken leg; it is given to temporarily relieve the pain until the bones can be set (which is painful) and the arm recovers (which takes time and care). In the same way, while there may be some external stopgaps,  true healing happens from the inside (spirit/soul) out. that process takes time.

Some of us have been using “morphine” for the last  12 years. It is painful to remember. We wish we were “over” this already. The truth is, we are not.

Remember 9/11 not out of patriotic obligation. Remember so that you can be healed.



Lilienfeld, S. O., & Loftus, E. F. (1998). Repressed memories and world war II: Some cautionary notes. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 29(5), 471-475. doi:10.1037/0735-7028.29.5.471

Pyszczynski, T. A., Sheldon S. & Greenberg, J. (2003). In the wake of 9/11: The psychology of terror. American Psychological Association, Washington DC.

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