(…of what now seems like ancient history)

Seventy three years ago, on December 7th, 1941…almost three quarters of a century ago…we were attacked at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by Japan. That event not only launched us into WWII, but also became enshrined in our annual schedule of commemoration of significant moments in our national history.

The passage of time, however, has faded much of its significance these days, where it’s mostly treated now as yet another casual commemoration of what seems like ancient history, barely receiving as much notice as it once did. It’s only natural, I suppose, since most who are around today were yet to be born, or were much too young to understand its significance at the time.

So I can’t help but wonder if the significance of any event in our country’s history relies more upon the memories of those who were part of it, or on those who felt its impacts at the time of it…than anything else. For others, it just seems too far removed back in time to be more than a gesture to tradition.

Apparently the historical continuum is such that each generation only acutely feels its own contributions to it, until these also fade back into the mists of earlier times, going from vivid colors into shades…of gray. Even so, oral history tends to maintain our connections with those distant moments of collective memory, and monuments, become their graphic tangible expressions of it.

Thus, to judge by the number of monuments we have around us today, no matter how casually we commemorate and event such as Dec. 7th, our collective memory of it keeps it firmly in the place it deserves.