In Rememberance

April 21, 2011 at 12:22 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Just a heads up, this is another one of those serious posts.

This week has seen a few heavy anniversaries and I just wanted to mention them here.  There’s a good chance you’ve been inundated with these stories over the last few days but that’s not going to stop me from talking about them as well.

On April 19, 1995, the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma was the site of the most destructive act of terrorism committed on U.S. soil by an American, ever.  I was in the fifth grade and I can still remember the look of panic and fear on my teacher’s face as she ran in and tried to explain what was happening.  I also remember staring at photos of the bombed out building for hours, trying to understand how something that was so complete and intact could look like that in mere seconds.  It was the first time in my childhood that I realized how truly sick and hateful some people could be.

On April 20, 1999, Columbine High School in Jefferson County, Colorado became known around the world after two high school seniors killed 12 of their fellow students and a teacher in a bloodbath on campus.  This was 2 years after the school shooting in Paducah, KY, which was the first time I had ever heard of kids committing such an atrocious act.  When it happened in Columbine, I watched students being evacuated live on CNN with the help of the FBI.  I cried in my kitchen because I couldn’t understand how people could do that to their peers.  I still can’t understand that and I don’t think I ever will.  Which might be for the best.

On April 20, 2010, 11 men lost their life in the explosion that sent 4,900,000 barrels of crude oil into the Gulf Ocean at Deepwater Horizon, the site of the BP oil rig.  The damage done to the ocean life will probably not be fully understood for decades but the increase in dead baby sharks, dolphins, sea turtles and other sea creatures leads one to assume that the oil has harmed more than BP would ever let on.  Many (most?) coastal residents are still avoiding eating sea food and the fishing and tourism industries are still struggling to bounce back.

It’s hard for me to believe it’s been a year since the oil spill but it’s also hard for me to believe it’s been 16 years since the bombing in Oklahoma City.  Our media-based society has a tenancy to forget the news as quickly as it’s created and our current 24-hour news cycle only makes this worse.  Which is why I wanted to say a bit about these three anniversaries here.  While it’s easy for these events to fade to the recesses of our memory, the families and friends of the people who were involved in these tragedies still deal with it every single day.  The same goes for the survivors.  They don’t forget and sometimes they don’t move on, which I imagine is made worse when they think that the news and general public have forgotten or no longer care.

I remember and now I’m sure you do too.


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