I had a conversation with a very bright gentleman - my
father - the other day concerning, among other issues,
the lack of mention last week of the anniversary of
President John Kennedy's assassination. Now granted,
this year Nov. 22 fell on Thanksgiving Day and that
surely had some impact. But I was at an impressionable
age when Kennedy was killed and I believe that day
will always bring back those memories.
Without hesitation my father talked about the day
President Franklin Roosevelt died. He spoke of that
date as though it were yesterday. And it dawned on me
that important dates have a lifespan of a generation
or two but certainly no more.
What that means today of course is that Sept. 11 too
will someday come and go with little if any notice.
For all practical purposes, Dec. 7 - that's right, the
day that will live in infamy - is all but forgotten.
Were it not for the history books and the last handful
of veterans who well remember that fateful day, Dec.
7, 1941, too would be virtually forgotten.
Earlier generations undoubtedly carried memories of
World War I events on specific days of importance.
Before them I assume a generation could tell you the
exact date that Lincoln was assassinated or some other
event of significance.
But dates, like canned goods, have a shelf life and
then they are relegated to the history books. Without
a doubt, Sept. 11 will fall into that category.
All of this strikes me as odd because we Americans are
keen on our dates. We like to measure things and
categorize things so much, you'd think that dates of
importance would stick around for far longer than they
do. But as I watched television on Thanksgiving and
visited with family and friends, not a mention was
made. Maybe too much time has passed and too few
people remember that specific date with any recall
It wasn't too long ago in the newspaper business that
we would not let Dec. 7 or Nov. 22 pass without a news
article on people's memories of the events and
circumstances of those days. But now perhaps we'll do
an anniversary article next year on Sept. 11 and then
perhaps the year after that. But soon that date will
fall into the shadows with the others.
These are just observations. Events in our lives
change and dates carry less significance as times
pass. And eventually, the dates and the circumstances
and the feelings that were once so clear will be part
of history books only. I may not like it but that's
the way it is!