I remember the shock of the World Trade Center coming down, and I remember the unifying comfort of shared, national grief.
We huddled in front of television news broadcasts together. We lighted candles together. We stuck magnetic America flags and troop support ribbons on our cars. A sea of grief expression.
This week, 18 years later, social media is abuzz with the collectively remembered anniversary of the sudden, dramatic, deliberate slaughter that invaded our shores. Not like an army but like a bug, creeping into our safe place and then striking us with horror.
We don’t grieve like this a lot. Publicly. Visually. But in the 1800s, grief was out in the open. This month, in the Victorian Village Historic District of Memphis, the Mallory-Neely House is decked out in mourning clothes and educating people about the way we used to grieve.