Alexander Film Works

What We Remember

In It Bugs Me on September 11, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Today is the tenth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York City, the Pentagon building in Washington, D.C., and the aborted attack that ended up in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

This year is also the seventieth anniversary of the bombing of the U. S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese Navy.  It’s also the ninety-third anniversary of the ending of the First World War by the signing of the Armistice – what we now call Veterans’ Day.  In May, we noted in passing the sixty-sixth anniversary of V-E Day, the date on which the German Reich officially surrendered to the Allies, and in August, it was the sixty-sixth anniversary of V-J Day, the surrender of the Empire of Japan to General Douglas MacArthur, aboard the battleship U.S.S. Missouri.

Also in August, we had the sixty-sixth anniversary of the first two atomic weapons dropped in warfare (to date – may there never be another), on the city of Hiroshima on the 6th, and on Nagasaki on the 9th.  In October, we have the eighty-second anniversary of Black Thursday, the first day of the stock market crash of 1929.  We have the seventy-second anniversary of Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater of the Air’s broadcast of a dramatization of H. G. Wells’ novel, The War of the Worlds over the CBS Radio Network, causing a nationwide panic.  We have the sixty-seventh anniversaries of the invasion of Normandy by Allied troops in June, and of the last-ditch offensive by the Wehrmacht in the Ardennes Forest of France nine days before Christmas of that year, which came to be known as “The Battle of the Bulge”.

In November of 1963, forty-eight years ago, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.  In May of 1970, forty-one years ago, four students were killed by fire from Ohio National Guardsmen at Kent State University, in Kent, Ohio.  Forty-three years ago, in 1969, eight persons were indicted by a Grand Jury sitting in Chicago on federal charges of crossing state lines to agitate and incite riots at the Democratic National Convention, being held in the city during the month of August, 1968.

In August of 1974, thirty-seven years ago, a sitting President, Richard Milhous Nixon, resigned the office of President in the face of looming impeachment charges stemming from his involvement in the failed break-in at the offices of the Democratic National Committee offices in the Watergate Office Building in Washington, D.C. two years before.

***

These are just a selected few events that happened in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries, C.E., that should be remembered, I think.  I didn’t mention the Lindbergh baby’s kidnapping, Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan being lost at sea in the Pacific in 1937, and many other things I could name.

But we seem to remember now only the salacious, or the outré, like the so-called “Trials of the Century”, applied to Bruno Richard Hauptmann, convicted of kidnapping and murdering the Lindbergh baby, and to Orenthal James Simpson, acquitted of the criminal charges of murdering his estranged wife, Nicole Simpson, and Ronald Goldman, who may only have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, if some reports are to be believed, and was applied to the trial of Casey Anthony, acquitted of murdering her daughter, Kaylee Anthony.

I think our memory has become far too selective, and we should take note of things that should be remembered, but in large measure aren’t.

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