Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Forgetting to Remember

As I started school with my daughter this morning I noticed as she filled in her calendar notebook today was Tuesday, September 11.  I said "hmm, it's a Tuesday again", thinking back to that fateful Tuesday. I then sat down with her at the table and showed her pictures on the computer of the Twin Towers and explained what happened that Tuesday.  She was born more than 4 years after that September day.  She has no remembrance and until today no real knowledge of what happened but it was time for her to know.  I explained about the airplanes and buildings and the loss of life.  She needs to know so that the day will always be remembered.

I was thinking later about the significance of today as I saw the updates to my friend's Facebook statuses.  Most were about where people were and what they were doing when they heard about the attacks on the World Trade Center or on the importance of remembering the events that happened that horrible day 11 years ago.  It made me stop and think about the other days in our country's history that were so bad that many people can tell you where they were depending on what event you ask them about.

For my Grandma's generation it was Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.  She could probably tell me where she was at that time.  She would have just turned 16. It was a "date which will live in infamy" according to President Roosevelt. And for that generation I am sure it was.

For my Mom's generation it was the assassination of President Kennedy, November 22, 1963. She has told me about that day.  She was 10.  It had an affect on her and all those that remember hearing about it.

For my husband it was the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger, January 28, 1986.  He was in school watching it live on TV. He was 8.  I was 6 at the time and don't really remember it.  I remember hearing about it but I don't know if it is actual memories or that I have heard about it.

I was thinking about these events in our history and wondering when they became common dates again.  When did people begin to forget and stop associating that date with the event that happened?  I know those closely effected by them will never forget, but when did the rest of our nation forget those important things?  Did people forget to pass along the information? When did they become something that was just taught in history class at school?

I know I don't think about Kennedy on November 22nd each year, nor the Challenger at the end of every January.  I actually had to look up those dates.  I knew Kennedy was shot in November but didn't know the day.  The one day that I do remember every year is December 7.  My husband thinks I am a little weird for remembering it but I do every year.  The reason: my Dad.  My Dad was in the Army for 24 years.  He is a huge military history buff. He knows more stuff about wars, weapons, generals, and other military stuff it is crazy.  I remember from a young age knowing what Pearl Harbor Day was.  He talked about it.  It was something that was important to him. Yes, it happened 10 years before he was born but he learned about it and made sure us kids knew about it.

I am wondering if that our culture will ever forget to remember what happened on 9/11.  Will it become just a normal day?  I hope not.  Our country was forever altered on that day.  It needs to be remembered.  It must be remembered.  So, I told my daughter about it today.  I answered her questions. I will do my part to make sure the next generation will know about September 11, 2001.

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