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Significant events - John C. Kirk

Aug. 4th, 2007

08:00 pm - Significant events

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During WW2, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour: since they hadn't formally declared war at that point (arguably due to a miscommunication), President Roosevelt described this as "a date that will live in infamy". 60-odd years later, I wonder whether that's true; I'm sure that lots of people are familiar with the event, but how many could name the date?

Conversely, it's now been almost 6 years since "9/11", i.e. the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11th 2001. I'm sure that most people will remember the date, but I wonder how many of them remember the name of the building. I'm thinking particularly of the younger generation here, who may not have been aware of all the details when it happened. There's a 14 year old who keeps sending me bulk emails (the "forward this to everyone you know!" variety), and his most recent one was relevant to this.

Stripping out all the headers (i.e. the email addresses of previous recipients), the only new text in any of the nested messages was "this is great". The original message said:

NO SCHOOL ON SEPTEMBER 11TH...

EVERYBODY, STAY HOME FROM SCHOOL ON SEPTEMBER 11TH .. NO MATTER WHAT SCHOOL YOU GO TO, WHAT STATE YOU LIVE IN, THINK ABOUT IT...TEACHERS SHOW UP AND NOBODY IS IN CLASS... THEN THEY'LL LEAVE THINKING WHY NO ONE CAME TO SCHOOL THAT DAY...TELL A LOT OF PEOPLE AND LETS SEE IF WE CAN MAKE IT ON NEWS...

WHY SEPTEMBER 11TH? CAUSE ITS A DAY WE SHOULD NOT BE IN SCHOOL BECAUSE OF WHAT HAPPENED WE GET SCHOOL OFF FOR A BUNCH OF PRESIDENTS BUT WE DON'T GET SCHOOL OFF FOR A MASS OF PEOPLE WE PROBABLY kNEW? AND ALL THE AMAZING FIRE FIGHTERS THAT DIED FOR THIS COUNTRY!! .. JUST KEEP REPOSTING AND TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW...NO SCHOOL SEPT. 11TH

P.S. EVEN IF YOU ALREADY POSTED IT POST IT AGAIN..PLEASE_THIS IS A GREAT IDEA!!!!!!!!!!!C'MON GUYS LETS DO THIS!________________________________________________________________


(I've preserved the all-caps formatting, but removed all the redundant line breaks etc.)

I find it interesting that they don't explicitly say what happened. Beyond that, the tone of the message seems to be saying "We deserve a holiday to go to the beach" rather than "We want to take the day off to attend a memorial service".

Poll #1033396 Remembering attacks

When did the Japanese attack Pearl Harbour? (Without looking the answer up!)

December 6, 1940
0(0.0%)
December 7, 1940
0(0.0%)
December 6, 1941
2(33.3%)
December 7, 1941
4(66.7%)

How long will people in the USA/UK remember the name of the World Trade Center?

Most people have probably forgotten already
0(0.0%)
5 years
0(0.0%)
10 years
0(0.0%)
25 years
3(50.0%)
50 years
1(16.7%)
100 years
2(33.3%)
Until the eventual heat death of the universe
0(0.0%)

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Comments:

[User Picture]
From:firefliesinjune
Date:August 4th, 2007 07:42 pm (UTC)
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Being a history nerd has finally paid off!

As far as the "How long will we remember September 11..."? question goes, consider the massive rise in tragedy profiteering that's going on now vs. when Pearl Harbor happened.

Now we had almost instant Remember 9/11! books, websites, newspaper stories, etc. Then about a year later we had "commemorative coins made from silver found in the basement at ground zero". In ten years there will be a national day of mourning declared, in 25, 30, and 40, there will be parades honoring those who survived the day. In 60 years we'll be establishing genealogical societies for descendants of the victims, and in 100 there will be a poorly laid out modern art memorial put into Washington DC. As long as there is some type of profit to be made, people will be forced to remember 9/11 whether they want to or not.

Also consider the immediacy of today's news. I watched the Towers fall live on television and was immediately afraid living downtown in a major city. In 1941, people heard about this the next day, or a few days later, and it was newspaper headlines, not live images of people running and screaming.
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[User Picture]
From:totherme
Date:August 5th, 2007 02:08 pm (UTC)
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Also consider the immediacy of today's news. I watched the Towers fall live on television and was immediately afraid living downtown in a major city. In 1941, people heard about this the next day, or a few days later, and it was newspaper headlines, not live images of people running and screaming.


I think that's a good argument for people today remembering the events of 2001 better than those of the early 40s. But I suspect we'll be able to apply the same argument again in the future - when the tragedy of 2050 is beamed live into the minds of the whole population, so they can all experience firsthand the sensations of being at ground zero... Who'd pay any attention to mere moving images of a half-century old explosive demolition after that?

Of course, there's always the possibility of the entertainment industry reviving old events for fun an profit. Remember Sparta? Those men fought for our freedom dammit!
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[User Picture]
From:firefliesinjune
Date:August 5th, 2007 05:22 pm (UTC)
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You know that Sparta movie was completely historically accurate too... I would have never guessed that their men walked around nearly nude and oiled up like that for battle.

I hope I am long gone before we start mind-beaming world tragedies and disasters.

The entertainment industry has already revived 9/11 twice, once for "World Trade Center" and the other for "Flight 93". Neither of which will I ever watch.
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[User Picture]
From:shuripentu
Date:August 7th, 2007 09:08 am (UTC)
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It'll last as long as the "war against terrrrism" lasts - until people find another Great Evil to valiantly fight against.
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