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Regarding “A Voice From A Truly Violent Year”

Commenting on this article, Mary A. Berger said,

“We need to keep being reminded of the way things were a few years back, as well as the horror of more recent catastrophes . It’s amazing how the American spirit seems to gain strength after such terrible events. As the song says . . . ‘proud to be an American.’” 

One of the great benefits of history is its ability to put current events in context. Looking back over the decades, recalling all the crises Americans have faced, I’m reminded that today’s troubles are almost always surpassed by some past disaster. (I’ll admit there is no precedent for the attack on the World Trade Center, though it’s not incomprehensible: we lost 2,800 Americans on Sept. 11, 2,400 at Pearl Harbor.)

Our old friend Bob McGowan added this thought.

“I’m glad this feature from ‘POST and Present’ appears this week. I’d actually forgotten (or blocked out) the complexities and violence that prevailed so heavily in 1968. I actually turned 11 that May, right between the two assassinations. Those do stand out in my mind, but when I read about so many of the other terrible things before and after that, all in 1968, it really is still shocking, 44 years later. We do need to be grateful that things aren’t worse than they are when put in this perspective.”

I think 1968 was a much more challenging year than 2012, which is less disastrous than disappointing. I will say, however, that when we have a problems we recount them with the volume turned ALL THE WAY UP.

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