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There will be no politicians at the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. They are no longer invited. Organizers of the memorial have now decided that they want to make the solemn events more intimate. The decision also reflects the continuing struggle between New York City, New York state, and New Jersey over the memorial, the museum, control of the site, and, as a consequence, the memory of 9/11. Last year, on this same day, the political grandstanding got so outlandish that it led to a showdown between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg over the choice of readings. But, whatever the motivation, the United States may be ready for a change on how to remember 9/11 too. It is time to make it personal again, to make it less an event or even a call to action. The burden of tragedy is private, but the 9/11 families lost possession of a day that was ultimately theirs. So many of them -- embracing new lives, spouses, children, professions, but forever cognizant that it might have been so much different -- have, at long last, carried on. America needs to do the same.


Kayyem, Juliette. "Never Say Never Again." Foreign Policy, September 11, 2012.