image from Wikimedia Commons

“Never Forget.”

Jen Freymond
2 min readSep 11, 2021


It’s 9/11 so let’s talk about “never forgetting.”

I will never forget the horror of that day and imagining being trapped in one of the towers or on one of those planes.

I will never forget how this country squandered an opportunity to do something positive for the world as a result. An opportunity to end our reliance on mid-east oil, and be leaders in a movement of peace. We chose war. Imperialism. Violence.

I will never forget that the american flag became a symbol of stupid, empty patriotism that day (way more than it already was). It became a symbol of hatred and bigotry and american exceptionalism (way more than it already was). That day we could have become something better. Instead we swung to the right and set the stage for the trump years to become an inevitability.

I will never forget that bush used the attack as an excuse to invade both Afghanistan and Iraq, and that our elected representatives went along with his obvious bullshit, thinking only of their own political careers. ONE representative — Barbara Lee of California — voted against invading Afghanistan. ONE person had the integrity, foresight and compassion to try to stop what came next. And she was met with death threats.

I will never forget marching in the streets of LA against invading these countries. Pleading with everyone we knew not to fall into the trap of responding to grief with violence and revenge. Those marches were HUGE. But no one talks about it. No one remembers that part. No one heard us.

I will never forget that we knew, at age 23, that there were no WMDs in Iraq. WE KNEW. Which means everyone knew. Everyone knew.

I will never forget the growing dread, knowing we were going to wage a war that would kill thousands and thousands of innocent people.

I will never forget trying to explain to people that i understood why these attacks happened, and that people around the world live with this kind of violence every day as a result of OUR government. I was told i was unpatriotic because i disagreed with starting an endless and futile war. I was told that “the U.S. does so much good in the world.” These people lived through Vietnam but somehow had learned nothing.

I wil never forget that our troops, many of whom died for nothing, became part of something meaningless and have to live with the fact that they wasted years of their lives fighting a cause that wasn’t real and causing death and destruction to people who were just trying to live their lives.

Never forget? You’re goddamn right i’ll never forget.



Jen Freymond

Co-host of the podcast “I Never Saw That.” Humor writer and satirist. Find my work in McSweeney’s, The Belladonna, Little Old Lady, etc... Twitter: @jenfreymond