At 8:46 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, United Airlines 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. It forever changed this country, and it began a day that would kill close to 3,000 people in the first attack on American mainland soil since 1814.
Every anniversary since, at Ground Zero, at precisely 8:46 a.m., there has been a moment of silence to remember those lost.
This country promised to “never forget” and commemorate the actions of so many.
A lone bell rings out, while the sounds of the rest of New York City whip about that hallowed American square.
But this anniversary was different at NBC studios. While other major news stations prepared their cameras for the moment of silence, NBC’s “The Today Show,” which is located and filmed in New York City, interviewed Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian’s mother.
It was not just any interview though. The host and Jenner laughed about the finale of season seven of the Kardashian’s show, with Jenner chuckling about the final shot of her being wheeled into surgery for breast implants.
Jenner and “The Today Show” thought it was proper to talk about fake breasts while the rest of the nation paused to remember the 3,000 lives lost only 11 years ago.
Jenner’s comments highlight an especially difficult task that we face every year. The steady wheel of history never stops spinning, and, as the events fall further and further into the past, we must examine how best to remember. The pain of Sept. 11 will never fully heal for those directly involved, and so the deep emotional attachment will remain until they are gone.
For the rest of us, looking into the horrors of Sept. 11 from the outside, we must remember our promise to the fallen. We must remember the songs, the poems and the slogans that we repeated until we were breathless. If we are all to proclaim that we will never forget, we must truly never forget. If we lapse in that, and if we fail to honor the deeds of those before us, their sacrifices will have been in vain.
And I think that is something that NBC and Kris Jenner would do well to remember next year at 8:46 a.m.