Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Never Forget

November 9 and 10.

For some reason certain dates seem to attract more than their share of anniversaries.

November 10....

The 40th anniversary of Sesame Street.

The 34th anniversary of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

And the 44th anniversary of the death of my mother.

It happened during a major northeast blackout.   Our neighborhood did not get its power back for nearly 12 hours so for us the blackout of November 9, 1965 extended into November 10.  Many of the details of that night (re the blackout) are etched into my memory.  It took me many years to make peace with the events of that night, which may be a blog entry for the future.  (And, maybe not.)

The blackout that seemed so immediate then isn't even known by many people anymore.   Most people alive today weren't alive on that night.  Memories will fade.  Sometimes, that's good.

Sometimes, it's not good.  Sometimes we should Never Forget.

The night of November 9/10, 1938 was an important night in German and world history, the temporary triumph of one of the greatest evils ever to exist.  And, for that matter, let's remember November 9, 1989.  It is so hard to believe that the Berlin Wall fell 20 years ago, while I was pregnant with my son.  The same son for whom the U.S.S.R and East/West Germany/the Red Menace are a historical curiosity.  But for us baby boomers, especially those of us who grew up in Germany, we know different.

The death of my mother, the death of people on a Great Lakes ship, the start of a legendary TV show, all pale before this.  We must never forget Kristallnacht.  And, we must never forget the freeing of a people.  All on the same night on a famous day in history.

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