Posted by: cck | September 11, 2011

collective memory

I was in line at the local Publix (best grocery store ever) and the man in front of me asked where I was ten years ago.  My Publix seems to have a direct pipeline to every senior citizen home in town – and seriously, I live in West Florida there are a LOT of seniors up in herre.  Instead of feeling weirded out by the personal question

I can remember exactly where I was, as I’m guessing most everyone can.  September 11, 2001 is burned into our collective memory – at once making us feel alone, small and scared.  And – here’s a dialectic for you – at the same time uniting us with a bond.  It’s that damn collective memory.

My father-in-law has a theory that if we could access it, we’d be able to reach back into history to all the collective memories of those that came before us.  Not, like, I could figure out what was going on in Abe Lincoln’s mind before the Gettysburg Address.  More like I could pull from the strength of Sarah from Bavaria in 1456.

I wonder how – in twenty years – this collective memory will affect our children.  If it will affect their children.  I know I will never forget, but I’m not sure my grandchildren (or great grandchildren) will remember.


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