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Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

Historic moments become outdated

Tuesday, November 27, 2001

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

whatsoever.

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!



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