Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Story That A Picture Tells

There is a Land of the Living and a Land of the Dead,
and the Bridge is Love, the only Survival, the only Meaning.

-Thornton Wilder

Just this past week it was announced that the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum, which is located of course at a spot imbued with solemnity and created out of a day that shall live in infamy, will open in mid-May, 2014.

In a perfect world, such a Museum never would have had to have been built.  September 11 would be what it had been for years - the birthday of Paul "Bear" Bryant, Harry Connick, Jr. and New York Yankee Jacoby Ellsbury.  Sadly, the world we occupy is far from perfect. 

I suppose that some will be taken aback that the Museum - in order to help offset the expense associated with its day-to-day operation - shall charge $24.00 to each adult who wishes to view its exhibits.  The families of those who died on September 11, 2001 shall not be charged, which seems wholly appropriate.  To say that those individuals have already paid a far heftier price for this space would be an understand of almost incomprehensible proportion.  

For those who have balked at the admission price - or who undoubtedly shall when they become aware of it - it is not unfair to ask how much they have spent and/or are willing to spend to enter the gates of an amusement park, concert hall or movie theatre and then to ask, "If you would spend it there, then why not here?"  The lack of a cogent, well-thought out response might diappoint you but it shall not surprise you.  It never does. 

While it is a place that I sincerely wish had no reason to exist, I am nevertheless looking forward to seeing it.  Not because I expect the exhibits contained within it shall be easy to look at but because I expect that looking away from them shall prove to be almost impossible.  It serves as a reminder that although Hollywood likes to entertain us with tales of alien creatures rampaging across the galaxy and laying waste to mankind, it is in fact a creature much closer to home that is principally responsible for doing so. 

Given that fact, "Never Forget" is not a slogan or a tagline.  It is some of the best advice one generation can give to the next. 

Never Forget. 


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