Or "Americans, Devastating Days and Written Memories"
by Uncle Hiram
First let me promise Yall, this will be the last column in this area that I will write about the events of September 11th, 2001. Now I want you to sit back, relax and try an experiment with me. Close your eyes and imagine that you are listening to your Grandfather or Father tell about his feelings when he heard the news about Pearl Harbor. Try to picture his face, the conflicting emotions, the obvious pain but strong resolve. Can you begin to feel some of the emotions that welled up in him? Did this ancestor actually ever tell you about that infamous day and how he reacted, how his family reacted, how his town reacted? If he didn't, what would you give for a written "journal" of that time?
Try to picture your mother telling you about the events of November 22nd 1963. Can you see the tears streaming down her face as Walter Conkrite made the announcement that President Kennedy was dead? Can you even begin to imagine the horrible numbness that overtook everyone as the shock began to settle in? What would you give for a written "journal" of that day in American history?
We are passing thru one of the seminal era's of American history. All of us and our nation will be tried and changed by the events of September 11th, 2001. Fifty or Sixty years from now, our descendants will look back on this time and wonder "What did they think? How did they feel?" What we need to do, as Genealogists and Family Historians, is leave them a written record of the events of this time. Not just the headlines or facts that they can read in the history books or old newspapers but how we felt. How we reacted. If we knew anyone killed or hurt. Why we reacted the way we did.
Try to explain everything about your reactions, your family's reactions, your town's reactions to the events. Tell them about the blood drives and the Flags flying on every house. Tell them about the outburst of patriotism. Tell them all the good things that have happened. You need to also tell them about the bad things that have happened. Tell them about the paranoia, tell them about the security measures that were instituted. Save some of the papers and put them with this journal. Leave something for your descendants that will help them to understand this terrible period of our History. Because, make no mistake, this is just the beginning of some very hard times.
Next Week, I promise Nothing Serious.
-Adios and Keep Smiling!
- Bill Hocutt (Uncle Hiram)