Memory is a funny thing.
September is a month now affiliated with one weighty anniversary, but let’s not forget… Few probably remember the September 1994 plane crash on the White House lawn.
In a time of reflection from the beginning of a dark decade, it’s easy to miss the anniversaries of good that have taken place in Septembers past.
In 1924, the Washington Senators clinched the American League pennant on Sept. 30, two games ahead of the New York Yankees. They would go on to win the World Series, finishing 30 games over .500 that year.
Germany invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, two years after the Redskins lifted the team’s first trophy, a precursor to five years of intense global fighting and millions of deaths.
September, like every other month, has troughs and valleys. “Recency bias” is a phrase used to describe the mind’s ability to recall and place in context those events which have occurred most recently.
When we remember the bad, do we simultaneously forget the good? Even as Google potentially changes our collective memory, it’s wise to learn from my great Aunt Helen.
Her mind is not what it once was — we could compare Latin when I was in high school — but as a newly minted centenarian, she has a breadth of human experience.
Americans have landed on the moon and shuttles have exploded in her time. The end of the incandescent lightbulb and the rise of the computer both fell under her watch. She’s moved from radio to television to Internet.
She burned down the family house in the middle of winter when she was a child. She’s waved to me from her house entirely surrounded by the overflowing Mississippi River.
It is honorable to remember the sacrifices of many, but that contemplation need not override the celebration of the wonderful aspects of life.
Breathe deeply this autumn and know that good remains in this world.