Sunday, September 11, 2005

Anniversaries

Today is the 11th of September, and most people are remembering what happened four years ago, and of course it's on the minds of many bloggers. To me, though, while associating the date with the event is unavoidable, it doesn't feel like the anniversary. 11-Sep is just a date. In my memory, the event happened, not on 11-Sep, or even on 23 Elul, but on the Tuesday of Selihot, which this year will be on 27-Sep.

I also associate the event with the primary election, which this year will be in two days, on Tue 13-Sep. Four years ago, I got up early to attend the Selihot service, and then went to vote against Michael Bloomberg (and for Herman Badillo) in the Republican primary. I first heard the news of what had happened on my way home from voting, and spent the next few hours watching it on TV, so the association with Selihot and voting is strong, while the calendar date doesn't really mean anything to me.

Which is all a way of wondering about the phenomenon of anniversaries. Why do we observe them? Why do they hold meaning for us? What triggers our memories of old events and people, and why is the calendar usually one of those things?

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