The day President Roosevelt said “will live in infamy.” I wonder if it is being forgotten. I know some of us old fogies will remember, but what about the rest of the nation. Does anyone under the age of, say 40, remember December 7th without one of us reminding them.
I hear the boomers are retiring now. They probably remember because their parents were the ones who were affected by that day. Our lives changed completely. I have never met anyone who was alive and aware of their surroundings who does not remember that day when everything changed. I haven’t seen a high school history book lately and I wonder how much time they give to this event that caused so much disruption in the United States of America.
Yes, I know. Sept 11, 2011 is a day to remember and I do remember it as distinctly as I remember Dec 7, 1941. I was a very young child in 1941. I don’t believe life in America has changed as much since 9-11 as it did from the Pearl Harbor attack. Life was so very different in that time. We did not have television but listened to the news on the radio and saw “newsreels” at the movie theaters once a week. We lived in a small town in Oklahoma, but not for much longer. We and many others moved to where the “war plants” were. Where things necessary for producing arms, ammunition and military equipment were built.
Mass movement of peoples has been the story of this nation. But it had settled down, those who wanted to go west had left and gone with the Great Depression, the rest began moving around with World War II. And of course, many young men, and some women, joined up for the Army, Navy, Marines and other military related work and jobs.
Technology developed for the military changed our lives in so many ways but our attitudes towards others also changed. We became a more open nation (maybe that is only my opinion), open to modern life, open to modern mores, open to differences in the people we knew. At this point in my life I think that has been taken to the extreme. But time has changed so much. Many families didn’t have cars, the buses ran from town to town, city to city. The trains ran through most towns. The highways were two lanes and freight rode the rails instead of those same lanes. Some of the towns had trolleys instead of buses. And people were expected to be honest. A man’s word was supposedly his bond. Some contracts were on a handshake.
We’ve lost a lot since those days. We’ve gained as much or more. Life is far more safe, comfortable and healthy, but is it happier? For some I’m sure it is, but really, is it? Why do we have so many on drugs? What make a person need that relief from real life? Have we lost our soul as a nation? I don’t know but I am afraid we have. I hope I am just that old person who thinks things were better in the old days.
Update: I updated with the video and as I watched the last of it I could only think of our ongoing “talks” with Iran. If you don’t know history you cannot learn from it.