Lest We Forget

It is September 11th. 21 years have passed since the horrific events of that day. I was quite surprised to see how far down in the news feed mentions of 9/11 have fallen.

Years ago I quit watching the footage of people jumping from the towers, of the planes flying into the buildings, or the towers falling. I did not need to rewatch the horror. It will forever be etched in my memory. That does not mean I will ever forget.

21 years have passed. I am sure there is some number at which we start to switch off historic (and tragic) events, especially if one was a child when the events happened. But remember we must.

Today I bow my head in reverence for the lives that were lost, for the families forever impacted, and for our country who lost so much that day. It is a profound reminder that life can change in an instant.


2020 Versus 536 AD – 111 Days Remain

Image by Ria Sopala from Pixabay

Today is September 11. I do not need to see the video replays to remember the horror of that day. I cannot imagine the horror the families of those lost must relive every day, let alone on this day. I pray no other people will ever need to suffer in this way again, but I know in my heart, there is so much evil in this world the probability of such suffering looms in the future.

I am normally a very positive person, but this year has done a number on me. It now takes work to remain upbeat. I do it by avoiding too much social media and news and by trying to focus on more positive things.

I was curious. What was the worst year in the history of mankind? It seems science has decided it was the year 536 AD.

It is estimated 50 million people worldwide died from the flu pandemic in 1918. As of this morning 914,537 people have died from Covid-19. Almost 3,000 lives were lost in the 9/11 attack. Numbers are so cold. These are real people with real families. All lost.

So what happened in 536 AD? Scientists now believe there was a devastating volcanic eruption in Iceland that shrouded much of the planet in darkness for 18 months. Temperatures dropped dramatically. Crops failed. People starved. Snow fell in summer. Famines and pandemics and more volcanic eruptions followed.

One of the things that has seen me through this crazy year has been my time outside in nature. Sure, I’ve complained about the rain and the heat and the humidity, but nature has always been right outside my door. All I ever need do is step into it. I cannot imagine 18 months without some sort of light flooding my surroundings from the heavens.

We are human, though, and we operate within our current frame of reference. California is experiencing the worst wildfires in its history. There is no daylight for much of the state now due to the smoke and haze from the fires. Environmental impacts and loss of life has been devastating this year.

Still, 2020 has not been the worst year in the history of mankind. Our presidential election looms in the future. Our citizens are still marching in the streets to shine a light on the abject racism so prevalent in our society.

So, it’s not the worst year ever, but let’s not tempt fate. I shudder to think of what could happen in the remaining 111 days.