Recently, I came across two really interesting articles about Stonehenge. I suppose it is one of the things that will fascinate us for the rest of time, and there will certainly be people making its study their life’s work for a long time to come. One article talked about how there’s a lot more to Stonehenge than just the famous circle of stone. It was part of a much larger civilization that had many other structures involved and the alignment of these structures is all in perfect alignment with important changes in our seasons, like the solstices. The stones used in the structure were hauled 1,500 miles at a time when there was no technology to make the task easier. It took hundreds of years to assemble the structure and would have required a huge amount of manpower. Think about it, at one point, it was a huge civilization and everyone involved knew the purpose and function of Stonehenge and all its satellite structures, roads and burial sites. Today, all we can do is speculate about what Stonehenge was created for and what life was like there. There’s no record left behind to tell us, although surely there were generations of people who were told the story until it disappeared from our knowledge.
There’s a similar structure near us called Cahokia Mounds that was once the largest urban settlement north of Mexico. They faced many of the same challenges that people in urban areas face now. The whole settlement revolved around the growth and production of corn. There are many of the same mysteries that people are trying to unearth at Cahokia as there are in Stonehenge. We are a society fascinated by ancient civilizations.
When I was a little girl, my dad and grandparents often made a big deal over Pearl Harbor Day. I know the history of that day. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and that attack led to the United States joining the Allies during World War II. I remember my dad reading newspaper articles about it on that day several times. The point was quite simple, “never forget.” Yet now, few people make much note about Pearl Harbor Day. It’s on December 7, in case you didn’t know. I hope my dad is proud that I still know that.
You are probably wondering right now what all this rambling is about. Well, today is 9/11, a day that changed our way of life forever. I doubt that there are many people alive who don’t remember exactly where they were or what they were doing when the attacks on our nation happened. Not only was the skyline of New York forever changed that day, but our hearts were changed as well. Things that we took for granted, not only here in the US but around the world, were suddenly not a given anymore. We experienced a devastating loss, but from the ashes of that horrible attack, we also saw the best in many people. We saw first responders rush in and do their best to help those trapped in the towers and the Pentagon. We heard about the bravery of those onboard the plane who stood up to the terrorists and refused to let them carry out their part of the plan.
I hope that we continue to celebrate all the people and dogs who came to the aid of the victims. There were some amazing search and rescue dogs and therapy dogs who worked tirelessly alongside their human companions. I had thought about writing something different today, but the truth is, if we don’t keep the story alive, it can become as lost as the mysteries of Stonehenge and Cahokia Mounds. If we don’t record the story and share it, along with the tales of the bravery of those who rose up to help, we risk this day becoming a tiny footnote in history years in the future. I heard a statistic recently about this year’s graduating class that said they’ve the last ones to remember a time when we didn’t live in a 9/11 society.
Today, we want to say thank you to people who work to serve others in their time of need, whether they’re police, firemen or search and rescue volunteers. Celebrate the fact that we saw the best in humanity after a terrible act of terror. Let the names of the terrorists be forgotten, but remember those who did their best for us. It’s the day we’ll never forget, but I hope we choose to remember the best humanity had to offer during that dark time.