How shall we remember that bitter day?

Sometimes in this column, we are the voice of the community. Often we’re just one voice among many. And occasionally, we gladly defer to the wisdom of our island neighbors.

This is one of those days. As we contemplated how best to commemorate the terrible attacks on our nation of a year ago today – struggling for words of relevance, of meaning, for a day that still largely defies comprehension – we opened the mail and found these comments from reader Bob Satterwhite. We found great wisdom in his thoughts, and we want to use this space to share them with readers:

“What do we want to remember? What do we want to preserve? What is the most important lesson to be learned?

“In the first place, it seems counterproductive to dwell upon the horror, the loss, the absolute inhumanity of the action. It also seems unnecessarily maudlin to dwell on the memories of those lost, for whatever we do will not ease their families’ pain nor bring them back to us.

“Instead, we need to allow ourselves to grow and to build a sense of strength and dedication that will forestall a recurrence. It seems to me that the only way that can be done is to encourage a commemoration that celebrates the humanity of the human spirit, expressed in love, courage, selflessness, mutual caring, respect and appreciation.

“How about a national holiday on Sept. 11 that might be called Remembrance Day? A day not to remember the atrocities and the horrors, and not even human courage or sacrifice per se, but a day to focus on the infinite possibilities of man’s humanity to man.

“Let it be a day of remembering how to be kind to one another, how to reach out to those in need, how to bridge the human gaps of fear distrust and impatience.

“Encourage civic groups, governmental organizations, private clubs, churches, youth groups, and all others who feel moved to do so to organize big and little activities that can be right and good between people of good will.

“Not a day of fun and games, but a day of remembering the importance of outreach and dedication. Activities such as community work parties; church congregations sharing ecumenical meetings, interfaith councils, and mutual outreach programs; inspirational programs such as musical groups, group singing, testimony meetings, and special talks or sermons; outreach by volunteer groups of youths and adults to nursing homes and retirement centers, hospitals, and maybe even prisons.

“The bottom line is that all the activities should be motivated by a genuine desire to break down the artificial barriers we so carefully preserve the rest of the year, with the sincere hope that if we can do a little more on one special day, perhaps we can see why it might be possible to continue on other days.”

Well spoken, Bob – profound words for a poignant day.


***Our picks for primary

This marks the last issue in which reader endorsement

letters for the Sept. 17 primary election will be printed.

A recap of the Review’s endorsements:

* Bainbridge Park District levy: Yes

* Kitsap County treasurer: Paulette Alvarado

* House of Representatives, 23rd District, Position 2

Democratic primary: Sherry Appleton

* United States Congress, 1st District,

Democratic primary: Jay Inslee

* Washington State Supreme Court:

Position 3 – Michael Spearman and Mary Fairhurst;

Position 4 – Charles Johnson and Pam Loginsky.

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