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JLeslie's avatar

Do you think 9/11 needs to be remembered like the Holocaust?

Asked by JLeslie (59518points) September 13th, 2018 from iPhone

The same historical importance? See more questions in last paragraph.

I do think it’s important for us to remember 9/11. That day, and the days following, were not just something terrible that happened in NY and the US, but I had people very close to me who were very affected. My sister went through a horrible time that day and for days following being an at home nurse in NYC. My coworker and friend lost his brother who had an appointment that morning in one of the towers.

I hear a lot of people saying “never forget” which for me is a saying associated with the Holocaust. I also see “day of rememberance” which doesn’t have that same type of feeling for me. I don’t know if others feel this way. I realize the Holocaust doesn’t somehow own the words never forget.

When you hear “never forget” do you associate it with the Holocaust specifically?

Do you see remembering 9/11 as just as important as the Holocaust?

What are you remembering primarily for each event? The people who died? Why it happened? That the US was attacked? Something else?

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24 Answers

snowberry's avatar

I associate “never forget” with the holocaust, but I don’t see 911 as just as important as the holocaust. For each event I remember all the things you mentioned.

Remember 911? Absolutely. But applying “never forget” to 911? No.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

9–11 to the holocaust is like an ice cube next to a glacier.

canidmajor's avatar

Why compare the two? Because people employ a very simple two word mnemonic for both?
It sounds like you are criticizing the PR department for using the same phrase.
I think most people are astute enough to not directly compare the Holocaust to 9/11.
Apples and sofas.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor I didn’t think of it like a PR campaign when it comes to 9/11, but it’s an interesting statement. I do think Holocaust rememberance campaigns have a PR type of style, but I don’t mean that in a negative way.

I do feel like for some people, they have made 9/11 into a symbol of “they” hate us, and the they is Muslims. It is an underlying pin of some of the problems in our country right now. When we remember the Holocaust, we no longer focus on the Germans, it’s more about those lost and the process leading up to and continuing during that horrible time.

One thing I wish we had more of are the incredible stories of people who did the right thing or the smart thing during these horrible events.

Never forget for me just carries a connotation of never forget the lesson. I do think there is a lesson in 9/11, but the lessons aren’t well promoted in an effective or productive way in my opinion.

I might be receiving it very different than other people though.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I don’t associate “never forget” with the Holocaust but with 9/11. Except for this site, the Holocaust is rarely mentioned in media so unless you seek out information or documentaries, it just doesn’t come up that often, and it was on foreign soil, not the US.

To compare the two would be dishonorable imo, as they were very different circumstances and each horrific tragedies, both intentional. I just think more people relate to 9/11 more than the Holocaust at this point in time.

We still have one Nazi war criminal here in the US, which is disturbing: https://www.thedailybeast.com/ice-wont-deport-the-last-nazi-war-criminal-in-america

canidmajor's avatar

@JLeslie, I think we all perceive it in different ways, depending on our experience. My Dad likened 9/11 to Pearl Harbor, mostly because of the heart-clutching reaction he had to both. His cousin was on a naval destroyer in Pearl Harbor (lost a leg, but survived) and friends in the North Tower. (Again, all survived)
I think living at the time of such an event adds a personal dimension, rather than the carefully curated package handed to us by the history books.

kritiper's avatar

Yes, but also like Pearl Harbor. 9–11 was an act of war, like Pearl Harbor. The Holocaust, while very important to remember, was a side effect of WWII. A war crime, not an act of war.

mazingerz88's avatar

911 needs to be remembered like the Holocaust in the context of promoting awareness and vigilance to avoid having a repeat.

And fortunately so far, no human tragedy on an epic scale as the Holocaust has ever happened yet in our time.

SergeantQueen's avatar

@mazingerz88 “911 needs to be remembered like the Holocaust in the context of promoting awareness and vigilance to avoid having a repeat.”
That’s right.
One could possibly argue that we should be remembering almost all events in history that were tragic so we don’t repeat them.
“Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat their mistakes.”
The same mindset could apply to the Great Depression, Wars, etc.
You don’t need to compare them as a “Which one was worse” but you need to know about them and be reminded of them so we can possibly prevent them.
Don’t compare tragedies like that.

ragingloli's avatar

They are not even in the same ballpark.
How dare you to compare the two?

ragingloli's avatar

And how telling that this is only ever suggested for things that have been done to you, and barely ever for things you inflicted on others.
Like slavery. The extermination of the Natives. Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The “internment” of Japanese Americans. The secret CIA torture prisons in the middle east. The still operating Guantanamo concentration camp.

notnotnotnot's avatar

Never forget 9/11/1973

SergeantQueen's avatar

I don’t agree with comparing tragedies at all.

You can’t compare them because as @ragingloli says, they aren’t even in the same ballpark.
I also agree with your second comment @ragingloli we (meaning Americans, if you aren’t American than the “we” doesn’t apply to you, obviously) we are so quick to try and put the blame on other and/or downplay other countries tragedies in an attempt to make it seem like America is this perfect saint of a country.
Japan has a different viewpoint on how that war started. (They were actually about to or already signed a peace treaty when we bombed them)
Vietnam has a different view on the Vietnam war (They call it the American war)
America twists its history with a lot of things how the Panama Canal was created, how the bay of Pigs happened. There’s a lot that Americans are taught that isn’t the whole truth.
(Which is why independent research from credible historical sources is important)

I still stand by my comment that it’s important to remember all tragedies whether on our soil or not. We need to know the signs so that we don’t end up having a Hitler-like regime (unless you think we already do), etc. We need to learn from and study all kinds of history. (especially because American education does downplay/ exclude a lot and whitewashes a ton of history)

ucme's avatar

Think it’s very unfair when tragedies are said to be never forgot” or always remembered”
Poor dementia sufferers feelings must be considered too.

snowberry's avatar

I don’t remember much of what my history books said about the Holocaust. But I have made it a point to read several books, including biographies of people who lived through it. THAT made about a strong as an impact is it possible to have, considering this is an event that happened before I was born.

To me the Holocaust was a bigger event than 911. It involved the whole world, and many millions of people, whereas 9/11 involved United States alone . 911 did change history in that the US plays a prominent role in the world. When they attacked, suddenly the US felt the impact of Muslim extremism that the rest of the world had been dealing with for quite a while.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Well…. It was an important event. I find it reprehensible, but interesting. One man’s terrorist, is another’s freedom fighter…

A big reason that America won the revolutionary war, was guerrilla tactics, and other strategies, that would be considered acts of terrorism.

History, is written by the “winners.”......

gorillapaws's avatar

The Holocaust is orders of magnitude worse than 9/11. We’re talking about a genocide where millions of men, women and children were murdered in an attempt to completely annihilate their race/religion. Genocide on that scale is radically different that the tragedy of September 11. For context, we have nearly a 9/11 worth of civilian deaths just from gun violence every month in the USA.

Zaku's avatar

“When you hear “never forget” do you associate it with the Holocaust specifically?”
No.

“Do you see remembering 9/11 as just as important as the Holocaust?”
No.

“What are you remembering primarily for each event? The people who died? Why it happened? That the US was attacked? Something else?”
I wasn’t there for the Holocaust, but I have read about it in history books and seen some films. I think it is important for people to know and consider that it occurred in a nationalistic self-righteous fascist country of the same heredity of most people in the USA (which is hereditarily mostly German) where a nasty maniac demagogue dictator enrolled the nation in a story about how their country had been victimized, and laid the blame at a religious/ethnic minority which he villainized, along with homosexuals and communists, while pretending to hold a moral high ground. It involved a police state and a public which was willing to turn a blind eye while others were victimized and wars were perpetrated, such that many/most Germans thought their nation was good. Meanwhile, they imprisoned as many jews and other undesirables as they could and used them for labor and killed as many of them as they could. I think we should notice how many similarities there are between Nazi Germany and recent developments in the USA, and I think we should reverse direction.

I think about “9/11” we should remember about the swing towards mindless nationalism and Orwellian abandonment of the rule of law and our freedoms in exchange for “security” against “terrorism”, and all the endless bullshit that went along with that. I think we should remember that Osama Bin Laden was trained by the CIA. I think we should remember that the news media and our politicians fed the public streams of false crap about how “no one could ever have imagined such an attack” when the WTC had been attacked about a decade earlier and US intelligence had and trained for all sorts of related terrorist scenarios. Or that “to protect our way of life” we were going to toss a lot of it with the “Patriot Act”. Or that Iraq was responsible and/or posed a threat and had WMDs and needed to be invaded. I think we should remember that the people who got Bush elected had an agenda to re-invade the Middle East to stabilize oil prices to increase profits for oil corporations. I think we should remember how little we tolerated critical thinking about the so-called “War on Terror” for so long, and what that says about the state of our society.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Before 9/11 the never forget was the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and before that the Alamo. Wasn’t there an earthquake or typhoon that killed 200,000 people in India in the past 10 years. That was barely on the news.

JLeslie's avatar

@ragingloli I am not forgetting slavery in the US nor segregation, neither of those have the line “never forget” used over and over again like the Holocaust. As @canidmajor and someone else pointed out, it’s just the tag line often used for the Holocaust, almost like a marketing tool.

The Alamo, which was just mentioned above, is “Remember the Alamo” not “never forget.”

Slavery in the US I don’t think has a tag line, maybe I just am not remembering it or not aware.

9/11 did indirectly happen to me, my sister was very affected, it still affects her, and as I also mentioned, a friend’s brother was killed.

The Holocaust did not affect anyone in my family, my association with it is simply being Jewish, and not wanting anything like that to happen to any group ever again, AND that since there is still antisemitism there are constant reminders that safety for the Jews can be precarious. But, it is precarious for many many groups. My family came over from Latvia and Russia primarily. Pogroms and poverty affected my family most, and then when they were here in the US poverty was also a huge factor in some of the difficulties they endured. People still today in America unfortunately are living below the poverty level, unsafe neighborhoods, don’t receive the healthcare, I’m very aware of the crap in the world now and in the past.

Pearl Harbor is a good comparison, and I think the Cuban Missile Crisis too, in that they were events where the majority in America, white Christian, felt vulnerable too. Vulnerable in a way that many minorities always understood life can be since birth. 9/11 was almost like a lesson for Americans under age 50 who had grown up feeling invincible that you can be hated just for being born. They might have studied slavery, the Holocaust, and Japanese internment camps, but many people didn’t internalize it as they themselves being vulnerable, because they still didn’t really truly empathize with those who were the targets, or didn’t really feel it could happen to them.

JLeslie's avatar

I woke up thinking about this Q, wondering if I’m way off with thinking “never again” reminds me of the Holocaust specifically, and so I did some googling. Anyone who is interested the links below talk about the Parkland Shooting using “never forget” and another link about Pearl Harbor using the slogan “remember Pearl Harbor’ (see section under the heading Background second paragraph in that section.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.jta.org/2018/03/08/default/never-evolved-holocaust-slogan-universal-call-fill-blank/amp

https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/pearl-harbor-remembrance-day

Remember the Alamo: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/remember-the-alamo-

I tried to find slogans or mottos for slavery, segregation, Martin Luther King’s death, Katrina, suffrage, and some others, and nothing cane up that was analogous. I googled “lest we forget” because it had a familiarity to me, and it was used for rememberance of some events, but further back in history from what I can tell.

LostInParadise's avatar

9/11 was an historically significant date in recent history. A lot changed afterwards. We need to remember the date not just for those who were directly affected, but to ask about how we are dealing with the consequences.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Did you see Michael Moore on The View today. He warned that when the next horrible thing happens, could be like a 9/11 maybe not even that big of an event, that the American population needs to not give away our rights and freedoms even more than we have. He believes something will happen with Trump in office and it will be used to completely change our government. He said that when Hitler first came into office there was an event that helped facilitate some of the changes he made. I wasn’t aware of the event, and I need to go back and listen to the recording to remember it. He was loathe to compare Trump directly to Hitler though, he was just kind of warning people to not be swayed into changing the US into a completely different country. My thought was Bush already started governmental changes when 9/11 happened!

I keep saying people need to not let politicians use fear to control us. We have to come together at the grass roots, people from all sides, and help each other, and be united in our yearning for a safe and prosperous country for everyone. Ugh. I’m so frustrated.

LostInParadise's avatar

I agree that we must not over-react, but we must still be wary of terrorism. That includes Russian state sponsored interference in elections.

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