If memory changes then does the historical event? The answer is no, but the fuller point is that everything that happens in a moment is infinite. We cannot know any event beyond our perspective of the moment, although we can be blasted with it to a such a degree, that we are deeply seared. Each of us have over whelming moments, but collectively sharing a general condition warrants collective consciousness. On the morning of 9/11/01, I was driving to Tuscaloosa, Alabama from Atlanta; walked into my hotel past the restaurant crowded with people watching television, and then stopped to see the second plane hit the other tower.
While time heals wounds, we still know they are with us by the scares that can be picked opened by events others may not even notice. My memory of 9/11 at the moment I am writing, is/was collective shock and wondering what was to happen next, all unfolding with a sense of a resolve to act and get back to my family. As with anyone my age in the United States, I have had experienced several such events. But memories shift and change in my consciousness.
Telling our stories to others always brings up new points we may not have spoken or even recalled before. What was it like, we are asked and we go deep into the memory to search for an answer. I have noticed that now, the horror comes back but so does acts of support, and caring as well.
Several years ago when writing about 9/11, I noted millions of 911 (emergency conditions/calls for help) happen daily. Then, as we live longer we have a larger storehouse of these 911 memories. And for me at least, often right in the middle of the difficult memory arise thoughts of compassion, loving kindness or small joy that may have been handed me. And, on anniversaries of major loss, a sense of gratitude opens, not the wound, but the blessing of how others helped me in my moment of loss.
Our life is bitter-sweet. So, we ask for help with the former and share the latter while being thankful to others for their goodness in both conditions...