Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Knife Edge of HIstory

Watching some of the news coverage of the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II, I am struck by this:

Soon, in the next few years, all the survivors of World War II, civilian and military, will be gone.  I watched those last few survivors of Pearl Harbor, many of them in wheelchairs, their bodies shrunken in age but their minds as active as ever, give their testimony.

And then, I thought of something else. 

The torch is being passed.   We, the generations that followed The Greatest Generation (the generation that fought and suffered in World War II) are sitting on the knife edge of history.

What the United States does in the coming months will affect our world for years to come.  What we do as a nation to support or oppose those efforts will impact everyone in the world.  We are all connected, whether we think so or not.

We have the chance to ease suffering, or to increase it.
Oh Tannenhaum, Tioga County Historical Society, Owego, New York
We have the chance to make beauty, if only we do it.

But first, we must look the face of history in the eye.

For the next two Sundays, I will feature exhibits from Hanukkah House in Binghamton, New York - the present one and a past one.  These posts aren't going to be my usual light hearted posts full of flowers and fall foliage.  They will show what happens when good hearted people stay silent.

This is what the last Bradford Pear looked like on December 3, still with most of its foliage. Now, it is bare.  But it is not dead.  Looks are deceiving.  All things willing, it will wake up in the spring, signalling a season of hope.  But what kind of United States will it wake up to?

That is up to us.

You are free to skip my posts on this terrible chapter of history (called the Holocaust or the Shoah) and come back on Monday for Music Mondays.

But I hope you won't.


  1. You are right Alana.....what happens if good/right people choose to stay silent is terrible.....Have you read the story Serafina's Promise....?It is a children's book written in verse. It depicts the hardships a little girl undergoes in Haiti.....At one poitn, she wonders why her grandfather opposed the bad elements in the a child, she cannot understand...but her experiences as the novel progresses make her see the light....Do read it....It is such a beautiful book.....

  2. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

    We cannot stay silent. I'm with you, Alana.

  3. Each decision and action at an individual level has a ripple effect on society. When it comes to the political stage, the ripple effect is much larger and the consequences are real. Especially a country like the US - the political developments there are not merely domestic in nature, they have a huge ripple effect on the world at large.

  4. I'll probably be skipping these posts. It's an important topic, and I applaud you for doing it. My problem is I can't deal with hearing about the suffering of others. It makes me physically ill. Usually just a migraine. I've learned to avoid the topic if at all possible, especially photos.

  5. I will be looking forward to your next posts. I am curious as well as to how America is going to shape in the next few years. I only hope its progressive and peaceful.


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