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it came out of the wordwork

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Lord Black Cat
What an odd thing is this human predilection for anniversary.

Come Monday we're promised a flood of remembrance, and with it renewed rancor. There will be a raft of finger-pointing and a mini-series, speeches and marches, "real-time recall" by news services (oh what a joy that will be!) and new releases of terrified phone calls and images of horror. We're already seeing the start: releases of reports on air quality following the collapse of the trade center, video of the perps preparing, discussions of of PTSD...

And so Monday, rather than being a simple day -- say a day we could comfortably celebrate my wife's birthday -- becomes an international day of extravaganzic memory, a reordering and filtering of experience. Some will seek to use the day for political gain. Some will use it to finally let grief go. Others will use it to sell advertising.

Meanwhile, days go by. This year I hardly heard about D-Day, nor to I recall seeing anything about the old VE and VJ days. I don't recall seeing a celebration of the end of the Civil War any time recently.

Days go by, anniversaries get thin...

Oh sure, we have Cinco de Mayo, Fourth of July, and all those Federal holidays held every year to celebrate something and which become, in time, simply excuses to relax or to buy. In 1961 could you have imagined a Martin Luther King's Birthday Sale?

Me, I didn't live through Pearl Harbor or D-Day. I can, for some reason, recall walking about through the litter of Dwight D. Eisenhower's victorious election in 1956 with my older brother... maybe it was that we found a dollar and so bought ourselves ice cream in November. I remember waking my family up with the news that we'd launched a satellite into space in 1958...(and getting yelled at for sharing...). I was in school when John Kennedy was shot; I saw the flag being lowered to half-mast, which confirmed the rumors our teacher was trying to dispel. I can recall much of that day, including going to the barber shop where the TV was on... in fact I recall the TV being on loud so the barbers could hear over the cutting. I recall the images of the funeral train going to DC....

I recall the night we of the moon landing -- Roger Zelazny called to celebrate -- and ... I recall...well.

But disasters are somehow more public....

I recall the Space Shuttle disaster -- in 1986 -- since I was home that day and had cable on... I did not see the live feed, I was watching music videos on MTV, but I saw the first replays on CNN... I recall the second Space Shuttle Disaster....

And I recall waking up in Canada to hear that George Bush had been elected, again.

So, what days come back to you, year after year?