Remembering 9/11 and the Lesson of Antietam

Civil War Dead on Antietam Battlefield

As I first explained in 2012, the events of Sept. 17, 1862, and Sept. 11, 2001, have become inextricably linked in my mind. Both involved tremendous loss of life, and both left catastrophic scars on the American psyche. Both left us vowing to “Never Forget!”

This year on 9/11, my reflections took a different but related turn as I considered the larger context of acts of violence against America, including the 2001 terrorist attacks, the Civil War, presidential assassinations, the Oklahoma City bombing, and Pearl Harbor.

Memory is a funny thing, of course—what we choose to remember, and how we choose to remember it, and what we choose to forget (deliberately, as individuals and as a society).

In recognition of 9/11 and the battle of Antietam—and as a continuing cautionary tale against forgetting either of them—I offer my customary repost of a reflection I put up during ECW’s first year, Remembering 9/11 and the Lesson of Antietam.

JFK at Antietam

President JFK on Burnside’s Bridge, just months before his assassination

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