Moments Frozen In Time

As we get older, it seems that the days run together and most days seem to be similar to the one before, and the weeks that went before that, the months, years and so on. “The older you get, the faster time goes by” is the refrain you hear from most people past the age of forty. I would offer my opinion that the primary reason that this seems to be the case is that for most of us the days are built around routine, and consequently each day does seem the same, and there is little to differentiate one day from another. On the flip side, when you’re a kid, each day can provide numerous adventures and new discoveries. We haven’t ‘been there, done that’ at that young age, and each day is different and provides new memories.

Having said that, there are some days that stick out in your memory regardless of how long you live, and provide instant recall regardless of how many years have passed since that day. It could be a marriage, the death of a loved one, graduating from high school, college, your first job, the birth of a child or some such highlight in a person’s life. There are other days that evoke instant recall and while those days may not involve us personally, they nonetheless create pictures of that moment in time. The Kennedy Assassination was that kind of day for me. Although I was only nine at the time, I remember the teachers in school crying, and school being let out as I walked home on that overcast November day.

September 11, 2001 was also that sort of day. I recall getting a call from Bob Mathers who happened to live in the neighborhood at the time. He told me that something strange had happened up in New York as a plane had hit one of the Twin Towers. As we were to find out, that was just the start of the tragedies on that day. Unlike the day that Kennedy was assassinated, that September 11th day was bright and sunny and had a cool Fall feel to it. As it turned out, that day changed the country forever, and many would argue not for the better. For while the country did come together as one nation for a while after the event, there was much increased surveillance that was a direct result of 9/11 that continues to this day, and with it a corresponding loss of liberty. While those days don’t come often, they do seem to have a disproportionate effect on the country on an individual as well as collective basis, and they are days that you will always know what you were doing at that fateful moment. Good or otherwise, some things can’t be unseen.