Bearing Witness to Trauma

Bearing witness implies having seen at close hand vital events to which one has a moral obligation to testify. Such events often involve life-and-death issues, openness to the life of another, and the need to take compassionate action on the other's behalf. Bearing witness may take different forms, such as testifying in court in order to achieve justice or preserving memories institutionally, such as the events of 9/11 as memorialized by the National Museum of American History.

Bearing witness informs, declares, testifies, and vouches for an important truth. The truth may be unpalatable. It may take courage to expose such a truth, and doing so may reflect on one's own character.

Bearing witness may carry a sense of sacred mission; something universal may be at stake, ...

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