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9·11恐袭20年:我们“永不忘记”的是什么

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ‘NEVER FORGET’?
9·11恐袭20年:我们“永不忘记”的是什么

In his mind, Michael Regan should have been down there. He should have had the guts.

在迈克尔·里根(Michael Regan)心中,他本该在大楼底下。他本该有勇气进去。

A longtime New York City employee who became first deputy fire commissioner after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Regan coordinated scores of funerals and memorial services and helped hundreds of shattered families. Still, he could not shake the guilt. He should have been there, down at the World Trade Center.

里根是纽约市政府的老员工,在2001年9月11日恐怖袭击后当上了市消防局第一副局长。他协调了数十场葬礼和追悼会,为数百个破碎的家庭提供了帮助。尽管如此,他仍无法摆脱一种内疚感。他本该在那里,在世贸中心大楼底下。
 

After a couple of months, Mr. Regan finally shared his remorse with a stunned Fire Department colleague, who told him that he had been there. He had helped transport the bodies of the first deputy fire commissioner, Bill Feehan, and the chief of department, Peter Ganci, to the morgue on First Avenue.

两个月后,里根终于和消防局的一位同事分享了自己的懊悔,让同事大吃一惊。那位同事告诉里根,他已经在那里了。他还帮忙将消防局第一副局长比尔·费汉(Bill Feehan)和消防队队长彼得·甘西(Peter Ganci)的遗体运往位于第一大道的太平间。

Don’t you remember?

你不记得了吗?

Looking back, Mr. Regan said his mental block must have been a way to cope with the instant loss of thousands, including many close friends. “It was a safety mechanism,” he said. “I saw horrible things that day, and I didn’t want to think about those things.”

里根说,回过头来看,他的心理障碍一定是应对数千人(包括许多亲密朋友)瞬间死亡的一种方法。“这是一种自我保护机制,”他说。“那天我看到了许多可怕的事情,我不想去仔细思考那些事情。”

Twenty years later, the command to “Never Forget” retains its power, jolting us into the past whenever we see it on a hat or flag or the back of a passing car on the Belt Parkway. For all its slogan-like simplicity, these twinned words seem freighted with the complexities of guilt, obligation and even presumption — as if we could ever forget.

二十年后,“永不忘记”的告诫仍保留着力量,每当我们在一顶帽子上、一面旗帜上,或一辆行驶在环城绿化大道(Belt Parkway)上的汽车后面看到这句话时,我们都会猛然想起那一天。这句口号式的短语虽然简单,但这两个紧密相连的词似乎充满了包括内疚、责任,甚至假定(好像我们居然会忘记)在内的复杂性。

But now that an entire generation has been born since the day, versions of the question posed to Mr. Regan might be asked of all of us who lived it in some way. Two planes hijacked by Al Qaeda piercing the north and south towers of the World Trade Center. A third slamming into the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. A fourth crashing in an open field outside Shanksville, Pa. All in less than 90 minutes.

但如今,那天之后出生的整整一代人已经长大,以某种方式经历了9·11的所有人都可能面对提给里根的那个问题,只是版本不同。那天,两架被基地组织劫持的飞机撞穿了世贸中心的南北双塔。第三架飞机撞向弗吉尼亚州阿灵顿的五角大楼。第四架在宾夕法尼亚州尚克斯维尔郊外的旷野坠毁。所有这一切发生在90分钟之内。

What, exactly, do you remember? What stories do you tell when a casual conversation morphs into a therapy session? What stories do you keep to yourself? And what instantly transports you back to that deceptively sunny Tuesday morning?

确切地说,你还记得什么?当一次随意的谈话变成一次心理治疗时,你会讲些什么故事?哪些故事你不会讲给别人听?什么东西会让你瞬间回到那个看似阳光明媚的周二早晨?

For Nikki Stern, a writer, it might be the waft of cigar smoke. Her husband, Jim Potorti, a vice president at Marsh & McLennan who worked on the 96th floor of the north tower, enjoyed the occasional cigar. Or it might be the sight of a bicycle. Just a bicycle. Jim used to cycle. …

对作家尼基·斯特恩(Nikki Stern)来说,可能是雪茄产生的烟。她丈夫吉姆·波托尔蒂(Jim Potorti)是Marsh & McLennan的副总裁,办公室在北塔96层,他曾偶尔抽支雪茄。也可能是看见一辆自行车。只是一辆自行车。吉姆过去经常骑自行车……

“I compartmentalize,” Ms. Stern said. “But there’s a permanent leak in the compartment.”

“我把这些事放在脑子里的隔间里,”斯特恩说。“但隔间中有个永久的洞。”

For James Luongo, a former deputy chief of the New York Police Department, it’s driving past the now-closed Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island. He spent nearly a year on that mound, supervising a pop-up base camp where 1.8 million tons of Trade Center debris were sifted for human remains and personal effects.

对纽约警察局前副局长詹姆斯·卢昂戈(James Luongo)来说,是开车经过斯塔顿岛上现已不再使用的Fresh Kills垃圾填埋场。他在那个土堆上花了将近一年的时间,在一个临时搭建的大本营里负责仔细检查世贸中心180万吨碎片的工作,寻找遗骸和个人物品。

The problem is: Mr. Luongo lives on Staten Island.

问题是:卢昂戈就住在斯塔顿岛。

“You’ve got to put it where it needs to be,” he said of the memories. “And not open the door more than you have to.”

“你必须把它放在该放的地方,”他提起那些记忆时说。“不必要的时候,不轻易将其打开。”

Never Forget.

永不忘记。

“When I hear ‘Never Forget’ for 9/11, my next question is: ‘Never forget what?’” said Charles B. Stone, an associate professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

“每当我听到有关9·11的‘永不忘记’时,我的下一个问题是:‘永不忘记什么?’”约翰·杰伊刑事司法学院(John Jay College of Criminal Justice)心理学副教授查尔斯·B·斯通(Charles B. Stone)说。

Never forget the international dynamics that set the stage? The homeland insecurities that followed, including the harassment of American citizens simply because they were Muslim? The months of seemingly nonstop funerals? The two decades of war and bloodshed?

永不忘记使9·11成为可能的国际动态?永不忘记随之而来的本土不安全感,包括对美国公民的骚扰,仅仅因为他们是穆斯林?永不忘记好几个月来似乎没完没了的葬礼?永不忘记二十年的战争和流血?

“Probably the closest answer is: Never forget that it occurred,” Mr. Stone said. “But it’s the little details that will be forgotten.”

“也许最接近的回答是:永不忘记它发生了,”斯通说。“但被忘记的将是小细节。”

I remember.

我记得。

The stillness as another body was pulled from the rubble and carted away to salutes and construction helmets held over hearts. The hum of the refrigerated trucks outside the morgue. The acrid smell of loss drifting uptown through the newsroom’s open windows. The landfill. The funerals.

又一具尸体从废墟中拉出来运走时的寂静,以及人们致敬、将安全帽摘下放在胸口的情景。停尸房外冷藏卡车的嗡嗡声。死亡的刺鼻气味飘到上城区,从敞开的窗户进入新闻编辑室。垃圾填埋场。还有葬礼。

The dust.

灰尘。

Of course, the call to Never Forget can also be interpreted as another honorable attempt to preserve some faint sense of the day’s many emotions. Honorable, but perhaps futile against the ceaseless rub of the passing years, the vagaries of memory.

当然,“永不忘记”的号召也可以被理解为又一种值得钦佩的尝试,以此将那天许多情感的某种微弱感觉保留下来。这值得钦佩,但在岁月无休止的消磨和记忆的游移不定面前,这也许是徒劳的。

In the first days after the Sept. 11 attacks, a team of scholars around the country set out to capture the moment’s “flashbulb” memories: the vivid, enduring mental snapshots formed at the instant of historical import, such as the bombing of Pearl Harbor or the assassination of John F. Kennedy. They asked more than 3,000 people a few questions, including: Where were you when you learned about the terrorist attacks?

在9·11袭击后的前几天里,来自全国各地的一组学者开始着手捕捉那一刻的“闪光灯”记忆,也就是在具有历史意义的瞬间,比如珍珠港被炸或约翰·F·肯尼迪(John F. Kennedy)遇刺,出现在人们脑海里的生动、持久的画面。他们向3000多人提出了几个问题,包括:得知恐怖袭击发生的时候,你在哪里?

In New York, graduate students working on the study set up tables and handed out surveys at Union Square and Washington Square, where thousands had gathered in the days and weeks after the attacks just to be with one another, moments of communal mourning also now slipping from memory.

参与这项研究的研究生们在纽约的联合广场(Union Square)和华盛顿广场(Washington Square)摆了桌子分发调查问卷。在恐怖袭击发生后的几天和几周里,上千人曾在这些广场聚集,只为了与他人在一起,这些共享的哀悼时刻如今也已从记忆中褪去。

A year later, the researchers asked the same questions of many of the same people, only to find that 40 percent of the memories had changed. A man now saying that he was in the office when he learned of the attacks might previously have said that he had been on a train.

一年后,研究人员向这些受访者中的许多人问了同样的问题,却发现40%的记忆已经发生了变化。一名现在说得知袭击发生时正在办公室里的男子,也许之前说的是他当时在火车上。

These altered recollections were consistent with similar studies done in connection with other historical events, according to Elizabeth A. Phelps, a professor of neuroscience at Harvard University who worked on the 9/11 memory study. What distinguished the memories of Sept. 11, when compared with ordinary autobiographical memories, was the extreme confidence that people had developed in their altered remembrances, which by the first anniversary had begun to concretize.

据参与9·11记忆研究的哈佛大学(Harvard University)神经科学教授伊丽莎白·A·菲尔普斯(Elizabeth A. Phelps)说,这些改变了的记忆与其他历史事件的类似研究是一致的。与普通的自传式记忆相比,9·11记忆的不同之处在于,人们对自己改变了的记忆有极高的信心,到一周年纪念日时,这种信心已开始固化。

“You have your story and you’re sticking to it,” Dr. Phelps said.

“你有你的故事,你坚持那个故事,”菲尔普斯说。

William Hirst, a professor of psychology at the New School for Social Research, who also worked on the study, agreed. “I think what happens is they develop a narrative about their flashbulb memory,” he said. “It becomes their story.”

威廉·赫斯特(William Hirst)是社会研究新学院(New School for Social Research)的心理学教授,他也参与了9·11记忆研究。他说,“我认为,他们把自己的闪光灯记忆发展成一个叙事。成了他们的故事。”

Dr. Hirst wonders whether the changes in memory are somehow linked to a sense of identity. After all, what would it say about you as a New Yorker — as an American — if you didn’t know how you first heard about the Sept. 11 attacks? Aligning your personal narrative with a consequential moment in history may be a way of asserting that you are a part of the affected community, that you belong.

赫斯特想知道,记忆的改变是否在某种程度上与认同感有关。毕竟,如果你不知道你是怎么第一次听到9·11袭击的,那对于你作为一名纽约人——一名美国人——来说意味着什么呢?让你的个人叙事与历史上的重要时刻保持一致,也许是表明你是受影响社区的一员、你属于这个社区的一种方法。

Inevitably, someday there will be no one alive with a personal narrative of Sept. 11. Inevitably, the emotional impact of the day will fade a little bit, and then a little bit more, as time transforms a visceral lived experience into a dry history lesson. This transformation has already begun; ask any high school history teacher.

不可避免的是,迟早有一天,拥有9·11事件个人叙事的人都将死去。不可避免的是,那天带给人的情感影响会逐渐减弱,然后越来越弱,因为时间总是把感人肺腑的亲身经历转变成枯燥的历史课。这种转变已经开始了;问问任何一位高中历史老师,你就知道了。

But for now, for many, Sept. 11 remains a lived experience. We have our stories — our possibly altered memories — to share, or not to share, on the anniversary or any day of the year.

但对许多人来说,至少现在,9·11仍然是一种亲身经历。我们有自己的故事——我们可能已经改变的记忆——在周年纪念日或一年中的任何一天与他人分享,或不分享。

We might tell our stories to hold back the inevitable erasure of time. We might tell them to help us process the moment, or to explain why we grow quiet whenever we hear Bruce Springsteen’s “The Rising.”

我们也许会通过讲故事的方式,来阻挡它被时间不可避免地抹去。我们也许会用故事来帮助我们对这个时刻进行加工,或者来解释为什么每当我们听到布鲁斯·斯普林斯汀(Bruce Springsteen)的《The Rising》时会变得安静。

Then again, we might keep our stories locked in some leaky compartment, for fear of being perceived as another 9/11 narcissist, the hero of our own narrative. Or maybe we keep them to ourselves out of simple reverence.

不过话又说回来,我们也许会把自己的故事锁在某个有洞的隔间里,因为害怕被人视为又一个9·11自恋者——是我们个人叙事里的英雄。或者,也许我们只不过是出于敬意才把故事藏在心里。

Mr. Regan, the man who momentarily forgot, is now 64 and an executive with J.P. Morgan Chase. He has his memories, his stories. Some are funny, in that dark Irish way of coping. Some are so sobering that silence is the only response.

曾短暂失去记忆的里根现年64岁,是摩根大通(J. P. Morgan Chase)的一名高管。他有自己的回忆,自己的故事。有些带有爱尔兰式应对方法的那种黑色幽默。有些如此之严肃,让听者只能做出沉默的反应。

He avoids the anniversaries, the annual recitation of the names of the dead, and all the documentaries and books and essays the day continues to inspire. He will never visit the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, he said. “I don’t need to go back.”

他回避周年纪念,不参加每年朗读死者名字的活动,不看所有的相关纪录片、书籍,以及继续受那天启发而写的散文。他永远不会参观9·11纪念博物馆,他说。“我不需要回到那里。”

Mr. Luongo, now 63, retired in March after 40 years with the N.Y.P.D., a career distinguished in part by those many months on the Staten Island landfill. More than 4,200 human remains were recovered, as well as nearly 60,000 personal items, including photographs and identification cards.

现年63岁的卢昂戈已于今年3月退休,他在纽约警察局工作了40年,他辉煌生涯的一部分是在斯塔顿岛垃圾填埋场度过的那几个月。他们找到了4200多块遗骸和近6万件个人物品,包括照片和身份证件。

What he supervised was a village built on tragedy and aglow at night, with office trailers, a decontamination center, a mess hall, and conveyor belts waiting to receive the debris barged from Lower Manhattan. Looming stacks of crushed vehicles, including police cars and fire engines, arranged in neat, horrific rows.

他负责的工作是一个建在悲剧上的村庄,夜晚灯火通明,有办公用的挂车、有害物质清除中心、食堂,以及等着接收从曼哈顿下城运来的残骸的传送带。一堆堆被压坏的车辆,包括警车和消防车,排列整齐,令人毛骨悚然。

All gone, like Brigadoon. Was it even real? Or is this, too, a trick of memory?

所有这些都像世外桃源那样不复存在。那是真的吗?或者这也是一个记忆的错觉?

“I remember,” Mr. Luongo said. “So you get up in the morning, light a candle, say a prayer — and move on.”

“我记得,”卢昂戈说。“所以早上起床,点上一支蜡烛,做个祈祷,然后才开始干别的事情。”

Ms. Stern, who went on to write two nonfiction books and four novels, also remembers. How could she not?

斯特恩后来写了两本纪实类书籍和四本小说,她也记得。她怎么会不记得?

Shopping for eggs in a SuperFresh market near her home in Princeton, N.J., planning to make chocolate chip cookies for her husband — “I made the best ones in the world” — when someone shouted something like: The World Trade Center has been hit!

她当时正在离新泽西州普林斯顿的家不远的SuperFresh市场买鸡蛋,打算给丈夫做巧克力曲奇——“我做的曲奇是世界上最棒的”。她听到有人喊:“世贸中心被撞了!”

Being notified six months later that a quarter-size piece of Jim had been identified. Writing and writing and writing every night through her grief, more than 150,000 words that no one else will ever see.

六个月后她被告知,吉姆的一块25美分硬币大小的遗骸得到了确认。她每天晚上都在悲痛中写、写、写,写下了超过15万个字,她永远不会让其他人看到她写的这些东西。

Ms. Stern has spent the last 20 years trying to get past the “uniquely suffering kind of thing,” as she puts it, and work toward building something constructive. Her involvement with the nonprofit peace-building organization Search for Common Ground is another form of remembering.

在过去20年里,斯特恩一直试图让她所说的“那种独特的痛苦”成为过去,并努力建设一些积极的东西。她参与了和平建设非营利组织“寻找共同点”(Search for Common Ground),这是另一种形式的记忆。

“I don’t want anyone to go through this,” Ms. Stern said. “But I also don’t want to go through life saying, ‘You can’t understand what I went through.’ What’s the point? Why should they?”

“我不希望任何人有这种经历,”斯特恩说。“但我也不想一辈子总对人说:‘你无法理解我经历了什么。’那有什么意思?为什么他们应该理解我的经历呀?”

The smell of a cigar. A bicycle. A drive on the Staten Island Expressway. The anniversary.

雪茄的烟味。一辆自行车。在斯塔顿岛高速公路上开车。周年纪念日。

The dust.

灰尘。

I remember camping out with the National Guard in Battery Park several days after the terrorist attacks. I remember wearing a construction helmet, carrying a clipboard and walking around as if I belonged at the restricted World Trade Center site, then known as “the Pile” and as much a burial ground as a crime scene.

我记得恐怖袭击发生几天后,我和国民警卫队员一起露宿在炮台公园(Battery Park)。我记得我戴着安全头盔,拿着写字夹板,在世贸中心遗址禁区内四处走动,好像我属于那里,那里当时被称为“那个堆”,既是个墓地,也是个犯罪现场。

I remember the messages of grief, anger and faint hope scrawled in the dust that had settled on the surrounding buildings. Scrawled with the tips of fingers. I remember being determined to chronicle these messages before the power washers came.

我还记得写于周围建筑沉淀的灰尘上,那些表达悲伤、愤怒和微小希望的信息。是用指尖涂写的。我记得我要在强力清洗机到来之前,将这些信息记录下来的决心。

“The Towers Will Rise Again”

“双子塔将重建”

“Vernon Cherry Call Home”

“弗农·切里(Vernon Cherry)给家里打电话”

“God Be With You Dana — Love, Mom”

“愿上帝与你同在,德纳——爱你的妈妈”

I remember not wanting to think too hard about what comprised the dust, and not thinking at all about how harmful the dust might be for rescue and recovery workers to inhale.

我记得我不想过多地考虑灰尘的成分,也一点没想灰尘可能对从事救援和恢复工作的人员有多大危害。

I remember the dust being the color of vanilla, although my notes say it was gray. But I am certain of this: The dust was everywhere. The world was covered in it.

我记得灰尘是香草色的,虽然我在笔记里写的是灰色。但有一点我很确定:到处都是灰尘。整个世界都被它覆盖着。
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