Sunday, September 11, 2016

Those who forget history...

"Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it". The quote is often attributed to Winston Churchill but it was actually George Santayana.  "Today is a day that will live in infamy."  That was Roosevelt on the occasion of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  Both are hugely relative to how I deal with today, September 11, 2016.

It is my birthday.  I posted this on my Facebook page:

It seems a landmark time for everyone to remember where they were on the morning of September 11, 2001. I have no trouble remembering. I was in my favorite chat room on Ebay and we were celebrating my birthday. The TV was on behind me. When the first tower was hit all hell broke loose on the chat. I left there and gave my full attention to the television. As broadcasters began to report and speculate I was terror struck when they suggested that it could be an all out attack and one of the next cities would be LA. Sarah (my daughter) was in LA. I began to try and locate her and it was some time before we could get through. By then the city was in lock down. She knew virtually no one in LA and was dependent on public transportation. Three days later her Dad met her in Memphis at the bus station and they finished the trip together. We remember that day from our own misery but we know there are others for whom the loss was much greater. I kept some resentment for a while over losing my birthday to a national tragedy. Then, one night, I was watching a show that played some tape of the families of survivors and there was a little boy, about four years old, crying his heart out because he had lost his father. That was when I realized what losses were worth grieving. Let us not forget.

Friends have responded with their own stories of where they were and their feelings.  One was in a lighthouse on the coast of North Carolina when someone came screaming that America was under attack.  She felt terror.  Another was in a plane circling an airport in NYC.  She knows the feeling of terror and gratitude.  She turns off her TV for days during this period of time.  Another lived near an airport and the total quiet in her area was foreboding.  Her words are moving.  "it got so quiet with all aircraft grounded, never again will I kid my husband for having the weapons and supplies he has stored, they are not coming, they are here among us. The enemies of our religion, people and way of life, brought in by our present government and allowed to spread., be afraid, be very afraid." 
We began with the quote about forgetting history.  As it is, Winston Churchill is often credited with those words.  Churchill was a statesman who was highly respected by my father from whom I learned my allegiance to this country.  These are words spoken by Churchill on May 2, 1935.  “When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure. There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the sibylline books. It falls into that long, dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong–these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.”

"Never forget".  Have we?  I will celebrate my birthday with friends on a mountaintop this evening but I, personally, cannot forget.  Neither can the little boy who lost his father. 

God bless America. 

1 comment:

  1. Good thoughts as we remember this day in our history.
    Mary Alice


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