Today, as you’ve doubtless realized, is the 8th anniversary of the al Qaeda attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon and the thwarted attack on a destination we’ll likely never know. It is, for those of us too young to recall the JFK assassination or Pearl Harbor, the most significant public event of our lifetimes. We’ll all remember “where we were when.”
At what point, I wonder, do we stop commemorating the anniversary, especially those that aren’t multiples of ten or twenty-five?
Obviously, we do Independence Day every July 4th. But that’s about it. Pearl Harbor usually gets a mention but we don’t do much about it anymore. Most Americans couldn’t tell you when VE or VJ Day are; many couldn’t tell you what they are. Few now remember the Maine or the Alamo. Armistice Day has long since given way to Veterans Day, which itself has long since mostly been just another Monday holiday.
We’ll obviously make a big to-do about the 10th anniversary of 9/11 come 2011. Will we do so with the 11th? 12th? 13th? At some point, this day will be just another day for those not personally affected.