Third Party & Independents Archives

Remember (insert here)

Through out history we have had those “moments of infamy” that each generation states to remember or the “We will never forget” is made. Yet as time passes if we have not been personally affected the emotion attached to that date does fade. This is not because we don’t care, sometimes it is because another event has happened that at the moment is receiving our main focus. Sometimes it is just our human nature.

I had the opportunity to visit California a few years ago. I stood at a memorial in the middle of a cemetery where Japanese Americans were buried in an internment camp. People left offerings there of remembrance, small personal tokens in an attempt to say "We were here, we remember you". I've witnessed the same thing in New Orleans, where it was not uncommon to see an offering left at a gravesite. A coin, a smoke, a bottle of alcohol, beads or some other type of token; though in New Orleans it became more of a tradition for visitors this can be seen elsewhere. Even here in Ohio, I have come across those who have left these tokens of rememberance not out of a personal connection to that person but something stirred them to leave something.

Even if I had not read the Washington Post article "Historians Fear Attack Date's Significance Could Fade"; I could have written about this. There was a time when I was younger two of the most common questions was "Where were you when JKF was shot" or a question related to seeing the first time a Man stood on the moon. April 19th has faded for many as a memory that was replaced by 9/11; not that we have forgotten the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing, but the personal significance to that moment has faded for some. Ask any group of people under the age of 30 what happened on December 7th, most will not be able to tell you that was the date Pearl Harbor was bombed. Ask a group under the age of 20 and even less will know.

This doesn't stem from any lack of caring that many Americans died on that day of infamy, I often use the quote "We don't remember days only moments". Those moments of extreme joy or pain that we have personally experienced we do remember. Things that were significant to us at age 5 might not be as important at age 45 as the filing cabinent that makes up our memories does shuffle some of these events to the back.

Even if Hurricane Katrina had not hit chances are this 9/11 would have faded in signficance, I do not think anyone can disagree with the fact that since Hurricane Katrina did hit this disaster is fresher, and affects more of us at this moment in time. At the moment of a major crisis all else seems to fade into the background. Other events that would be newsworthy are not discussed at all except perhaps as a byline. This is in part due to the varying media sources that give us more information than we have ever had, this is also human nature.

Steve Smith somewhat inspired me to write this by asking about Cindy Sheehan or the John Roberts nomination, then reading the Washington Post article added to that. As New Orleans and the Gulf Coast begins to rebuild, the focus will be taken off of this by the media and us. The pain and suffering and challenges for those personally affected will continue, however the average American will remember it from time to time, especially if prodded by a story. At times some of us will try to force you to remember, those like Michael Scott Speicher or another person that we feel has been forgotten so that you will act.

There will be another crisis, another disaster either human or natural by creation. Perhaps not here but somewhere in the world, another "hot button" topic will take over the media and our discussion. Cindy Sheehan was the topic of the moment but see how quickly that story ended. It is now lost the media focus and in turn most of our focus. There is still suffering from those who lost loved ones in Iraq, there are still those dying every day from starvation in Nigeria. Darfur is still a larger area of despair than the Gulf Coast. Yet we are human, there is only so much we can do. After the earthquake in Iran many pledged funds, years later promises of funds made were never delivered. People are still suffering and homeless. After 9/11 and now starting after Katrina local charities and food banks will have less to distribute because the focus is now on the Gulf States. Pleas will start to come out that these Americans as well as others in the world still have needs that existed before this latest disaster.

We don't remember days only moments.....

Posted by Lisa Renee Ward at September 11, 2005 2:14 PM