I've been fortunate enough to visit the Aloha State, and when in Honolulu I made the trip out to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona memorial. It's probably a place everyone should go when on the Islands. It's a somber place-understated but a dignified monument for those that died on 7 December.
One thing I would be interested in, though, is what was on radio and television on December 7, 1951. I expect it wasn't full of memoirs and retrospectives on what happened ten years previous. Actually, I suppose I Love Lucy was on the tube, Gunsmoke was on the radio, and the news was all about the direct-to-video sequel to WWII-the Korean War.
Point is, Americans probably remembered Pearl Harbor on that day-and moved on with their lives.
I'm not sure we're doing so well with the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks. Tomorrow will see almost every channel on TV showing retrospectives of the day. The History Channel is even having a special to be shown on all of their channels all over the world. The rest of the world will probably think a) we're a nation of people who can't cope with adversity or b) won't care or c) both.
I realize there is an exponential increase in mass media since the mid-20th Century, and September 11 will be, at least for Americans, a 'remember where you were' day, much like the day President Kennedy was shot, or the Challenger exploded, or the night the Berlin Wall cracked open (I remember watching the news the night the Berlin Wall opened up and thinking 'Well, that was easy'.). That's, I think, fair enough.
But shows featuring the final phone calls and messages of the people who died that day seems to me to be in poor taste and somehow in my opinion cheapens the meaning of the day. Those messages really should have been kept private. And how many times do we really need to see those planes crashing into the World Trade Center?
There was that day, like in any another disaster, the whole range of human nature. There were some outstanding examples of heroism and valor along with I'm sure panic and cowardice. We remember the acts of firefighters, police, and ordinary citizens, who went into places most people were trying to get out of. A lot of them didn't survive the day. We remember those people on Flight 93 who chose to fight back instead of dying in fear. They died anyway, but far better to go down taking a swing if there's no real choice. We remember all the good people who've died since then in the various conflicts.
At the same time, Americans need to move on. There are a lot of issues we need to try to tackle and solve. The current administration seems to want to wind down our foreign adventures, and it's probably time. We've captured or otherwise dispatched most of the brains behind the plot. That the main plotter of the events of September 11 is currently fish food is adequate revenge for me. Paid in full. Perhaps the fish that nibbled on the body of Osama bin Ladin will get caught and provide a day's nourishment for some family-proof that some good is present in all men, I suppose. Anyway, let's get our troops back here. I dare say we could use them around the southern borders of our tired old Republic.
Much to do, everyone, in this nation and world. Remember our fallen, but move on. The people that died on 9/11 would want us to do that, I think. Let's roll!