In my remarks about the 9th of Av, I mentioned that my philosophy about Jewish memory was inspired by Yaffa Eliach--an original member of The President's Commission on the Holocaust. Dr. Eliach's approach to Holocaust memory focuses on the life--it is her belief that by presenting narratives of individuals can the full scope of tragedy be understood. It was that belief that guided her to create the Tower of Faces, perhaps the most moving exhibit at the United States Holocaust Museum:
In that spirit, when recalling difficult events, I strive to find narratives that capture the legacies of individuals. Through their stories we get a better sense of the whole. I was fortunate, while preparing for Shabbat, to stumble on James B. Stewart's retelling of Rick Rescorla's heroism on September 11. The New Yorker article, from February of 2012, reflects the still raw pain many Americans still felt just a few months after the horrific attacks. You can read Stewart's article, which he later adapted in the biography Heart of a Solider, here.
It is my hope that through recalling the memories of Rick Rescorla the other heroes of 9/11, we are inspired by their bravery and heroism to create a more peaceful and secure world.