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Remembering 9/11

For most of us here in the United States, today we’ll be surrounded with news and other media marking the 9th anniversary of September 11, 2001.

Many genealogy bloggers will also choose to remember the events of that day with a post on their blogs.  9/11 was one of those important historic events which your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will ask about one day.  If you haven’t already done so, take a few moments to record how you recall that day.

We’ll carry links to the posts from GeneaBloggers blog members here:

© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

21 thoughts on “Remembering 9/11

  1. I think it’s a mistake to mix genealogy and politics. Sadly, 9-11 is not like Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day which can be seen as patriotic. The events of that day still divide this country and no more so that this last week when idiot ministers want to burn the Koran or idiots are debating whether they should be a mosque two blocks away or not.

    Those of us who lost someone (and more than one person) on that day don’t need to read faux-sympathetic and faux-patriotic blog postings. Genealogy should always be apolitical.

  2. You’re entitled to your opinion Martin – both as to what constitutes an appropriate way to mark the anniversary of 9/11 and as to what comprises genealogy. I know you’ve not been shy about stating what is and what is not genealogy and who is and who is not a genealogist over at your blog.

    However, I get to make the rules here and for me and for many bloggers, genealogy is not just getting your rocks off over source citations and the minutae of pedigrees. Genealogy is about the memories of our ancestors and capturing our own memories to pass on to our children and our family members.

    If you are stating that I or anyone else is exploiting this day in any way then I think you are out of line. Again, my blog, my opinion.

  3. Martin, it’s clear that this day has significant meaning to you, as it does to the other bloggers who have chosen their own ways to observe, mourn and pay respect.

    These are not memorials of “faux” sympathy and “faux” patriotism as you describe them. They are merely different reactions than yours, and that’s ok.

    There’s much more I could say about politics and genealogy defined, but today, September 11, is not the time. If reading the about the 9-11 perspectives and emotions of others is too difficult for you today, save it for another day or just skip the entries altogether.

    I know you’re hurting. We all are. There’s nothing faux about it. It’s very, very real.

  4. I wish I had more memories of this day, but I’ve become very good over the years at blocking out painful memories. I can’t even read those of others. Instead I choose to celebrate anniversaries today – my parents (56), aunt and uncle (62), and cousins (34). To each his own.

  5. Martin –

    I understand that you have your opinion and I respect your right to have that opinion 100%. However, like Thomas said, it is his blog and he gets to make the rules on his own blog.

    This day has a lot of meaning for a lot of people. I remember it, not for the political reasons (simply because I was in the 7th grade and so politics wasn’t fully on my radar just yet), but for the coming together that so many people showed after the event. I loved seeing people helping other people and standing together to support each other in this country. Americans (at least what I saw) helped each other. It was something unlike I had ever seen and I felt very proud to be an American in the days after the tragedy.

    While I understand the reasoning of the arguments that politics and genealogy should not be mixed, I also understand that sometimes they overlap because, I feel, that it is important to discuss the political feelings of our ancestors since that undoubtedly effected them. Their feelings of patriotism, no matter what country it was for, is an important part of their story and is adds depth to the dry pedigree charts. By recording my own feelings of the event, I am leaving some depth for my descendent’s.

    I hope that even if you disagree with me, that you can respect my decision to post my feelings on my own blog.

    I also think that it was rude to call our posts “faux” patriotic and sympathetic. I know that you are hurting and I am very sorry for the pain that you must feel. I do not pretend to understand it and all I can do is pray that your pain is eased. Our reactions may be different than yours, but that does not make them wrong, fake, or “faux”. It just makes them different.

    Like Thomas says, this is his blog and he makes the rules – just as on your blog you make the rules. If you don’t like it, in my opinion, you are more than welcome to not read this blog or the posts within it. No one is forcing you to read them.

  6. Genealogy is history, and history is nothing BUT politics in one form or another, so I don’t know how you’d keep them separate.

  7. As a family historian, I wish my ancestors had written about the feelings they had when Pearl Harbor was bombed, when the stock market crashed in 1929, and when Fort Sumter was fired upon. All these events were controversial and related in some way to politics. They also affected the daily lives of the ancestors who were living at that time, just like 9/11 affected me, my children, my parents, and my three grandparents who were still alive that day.

    I wrote about my memories and had my children write theirs as well, so that our descendants will have a record. It is very much a part of our family’s history and thus is certainly appropriate on a genealogy blog.

  8. I concur with Miriam. One part of my blog is devoted to memorializing some of the important events in my life and 9/11 was certainly one of them.
    In fact, I’m a Canadian teacher and each year, with each new group of pre-teens that I teach, I ask them to go home and interview their parents about what happened that day. Of course most of their parents were here in Montreal so they don’t have firsthand accounts, but even what we witnessed on television and through accounts of American friends raises goosebumps on our arms.It’s part of our past family history and it looks like it’s going to be part of our family’s future history. Our Canadian soldiers are still in Afghanistan because of that day and still dying. The day belongs to the whole world because the whole world changed that day.
    A last point, why shouldn’t genealogy/family history and politics be mixed? Well, it shouldn’t be mixed if you’re afraid of offending people, but on the other hand, I don’t know how to discuss the history of my Acadian ancestors (who were deported from their homeland) or my Mohawk neighbours (who were dispossessed of their land) without touching on politics!
    Thanks to fellow Geneabloggers and Thomas for generating an interesting discussion!
    Evelyn in Montreal

  9. One of my ancestors was a politician. General Philemon Thomas ( who commanded the troops in 1810 that overtook the Spanish fort at Baton
    Rouge and freed the West Florida parishes from Spanish rule) served many terms in the Louisiana Legislature, in Congress from 1831 to
    1835, was a presidential elector for James Madison and James Monroe and was
    several times a candidate for governor of Louisiana.

    I am to think that I should omit the “political” portion of his life because one should not mix politics and war with genealogical and historical research?

    In each and every generation of my family, sons and fathers have sacraficed their lives while serving in our armed forces to ensure the freedom that I enjoy today. From the American Revolution to the fight in Afghanastan where my youngest brother became most recent to make the ultimate sacrafice just last year.

    The events of 9-11 were horrifying. The heartache of losing a loved one is unbearable. Patriot Day honors those men and women who were taken from us as a result of that nightmare.

    Veterans and Memorial Day were set aside to honor our veterans.

    We are Americans, we mourn and honor those who gave their lives to keep us free. No matter if it was 9-11, Viet Nam or World War I. Then we pick ourselves up and continue the fight because that is who we are, it’s how we roll.

  10. I do not live in the US but still have memories of that day which was a major world event that has repercussions for us to this day.
    Although many of us may not have lost close family members the world will not be the same as it was before this event.
    As Thomas says we leave a record for our descendants so that they might understand how this affected us and they might know better who we were even if they never meet us.

  11. When I read about people who have traced their family trees back to the days of, oh, say, Plato for the sake of emphasis, I wonder what sense of accomplishment they feel (not to mention what sources they have). Not to discredit those whose goal it is to get more names and dates than anyone else. There is no wrong reason to do genealogy, in my opinion.

    However, people will notice if they read my blogs that I have not gotten past the mid 1800’s in over 5 years of research. Not because it’s “too hard” or because I haven’t put enough effort in. But because as I research I want to learn as much about my ancestors “as people” as I do about when and where they lived. Thus, when I research an ancestor and learn they worked for the Lehigh Valley Railroad, I search “Lehigh Valley Railroad” to learn about that company. When I hear my dad and a few cousins mention that great-grandfather McHugh was reportedly involved in the Molly Maguires, I read about the Molly Maguires.

    In good ways or bad, historical events affect the way we live, and understanding my ancestors’ political beliefs help me understand not only a little bit about them, but a lot about the influences that make me who I am.

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