mabfan (Michael A. Burstein) (mabfan) wrote,
mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)

Forgetting History

I just spoke with Lydia Ruth, the Director of Public Relations at the Empire State Building, who graciously returned a phone call to me asking about the 60th anniversary of the B-25 bomber crash. Ms. Ruth told me that there was no event planned to commemorate the event or to memorialize the victims. Sadly, the reason is because there's not much interest in the tragedy anymore. Five years ago, for the 55th anniversary, they did have a memorial, but no one came, not even the press.

Ms. Ruth also told me that I'm the youngest person ever to ask about a memorial for the event. Most of the people who call her about it are much older, and were actual witnesses to the crash.

I think that's rather a shame. I know that as time passes, historical events get forgotten, as even the immediate families and friends of the victims pass on. But in today's post-9/11 world, I thought that this city might have finally chosen to begin looking back at its past, to learn from what had happened before in order to deal with what's happening today. But as I read the local papers this morning and scanned the local television news, not a single reference to the anniversary could I find.

(For those interested in irony, Ms. Ruth returned my call just before 10 AM -- the same time when the plane hit the building, sixty years ago today.)

Perhaps I can do something to remind people of the event, like I did to remind people of the General Slocum tragedy with Time Ablaze. Maybe in five years there'll be enough interest for a milestone commemoration.
Tags: history, nyc, personal, writing
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