If you follow me on facebook you may have seen this post on my feed:
'Dates in history has been a topic on my mind. Do you remember the date the US entered WW I? I did not so I looked it up on of course Google. "On March 17, 1917, Germany sank five U.S. merchant vessels, and President Wilson delivered a war message to Congress on April 2. War was declared on April 6, 1917." My husband's maternal uncle died of the flu just before he was to ship overseas. Most folks alive for that war are long since passed. Then there is the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Everyone in my parents' generation could tell you exactly where they were the moment they heard the news. My husband's paternal uncle in law to be was serving on one of the ships in the harbor next to the Arizona that fateful morning. He lived to raise 4 wonderful girls. Not so with thousands that gave their lives to defeat the Axis Powers. One of my friends was born on Dec. 7, 1946. 9/11 is my mother's birthday. Four planes took that simple date and changed if forever for the current generation. My simple prayer is that my grandchildren will never have to experience the horrific dates they cannot forget.'
The backstory is that I was watching 'Saving Private Ryan'. As a baby boomer WWII was still very much talked of in our family. Not necessarily specific details, more as a reference point. 'Before The War, after The War, during The War' as it was such a life changing event for that generation. It was a time that was remembered as when all were pulling together.
Of course there have been so many wars and conflicts since WWII. Cold War, Korean War, Vietnam, Iraqi, Afgan, Bosnian, Sudanese, ad infinitum. Someone needing to be all powerful. Some religion needing to be The Religion. Some nation needing to be The Nation. Some economic system insisting all must live by that system. Whatever then convincing just enough folks to believe the same way to mount attacks. President Wilson had opposed going to war even after earlier attacks. The president gave a 'Too Proud To Fight'. In less than 28 days he was standing before the Congress requesting a declaration of war.
Friends and acquaintances were 'near misses' on 9/11. One had rescheduled a meeting that was to take place on one of the upper floors of one of the World Trade buildings on that fateful morning. Another on a whim chose a plane that left Boston at a slightly different time keeping him off one of the fateful flights. Both men were left with questions of why they were spared.
I remember just trying to continue to work that day. That was pretty useless as people kept calling with updates on what was going on. Finally a TV was set up in the cafeteria so all could check on the status of the world as we knew it. But as I write this I remember the shrapnel in my uncle's arm from his service in WWII. It eventually disappeared without him realizing it. Will the sight of the towers' collapse fade? Or the sight of the Murrow Building damage in Oklahoma City fade? Only time will tell.