Posted on Mar 30, 2020 in Editorial.
As our world experiences an unprecedented medical event, many of us are focusing on the negative, even obsessing over the things we cannot control. But we invite you to take a step back and think of all of the moments in recent history that we thought would never end, which would ultimately change our lives forever.
Take a look at some of these moments that have shaped lifetimes and family histories.
- The Great Depression: For many Americans, the end of the 1920s was anything but roaring. As the stock market crashed, so many were struggling to make ends meet. While families did their best to keep some sense of normalcy, life changed. Families used what they had, or simply did without. Even the nuclear family changed. While divorce was down, abandonment rates were high. But on the opposite ends, families who were able to perceiver amongst the adversity spent more time together at home. Children of the Great Depression are now in their 80s and 90s, still sharing stories of how life was, and how fortunate we all are.
- World War II: When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, the United States was prompt to fight with the Allies in World War II. Quickly, life changed for everyone both at home and serving. Food, clothing, and gas were all rationed. The role of women greatly changed, shaping women’s place in the workforce. For Japanese-American families, life in the United States seemed unsafe as racial judgments were ever prevalent. Internment camps were used to protect from treachery. Instead, it became an embarrassing moment in American history. For those who lived during World War II, life would forever be shaped by the new way of America.
- The Vietnam War: Teens in 1965 had experienced a shift in life as they knew it. Once full of vitality and youth, these young men became the frontline of the Vietnam War. For many, survival instincts became a necessity, one they previously had no knowledge of. Mothers at home would receive notice that their child had been killed. Others that would make it home faced a lifetime of post-traumatic stress and little help to deal with it. For the men who did come back home, they were changed by what they saw and just how quickly they had to grow up.
- Race Riots: We, unfortunately, live in a time where racial inequality still is rampant. In the 1960s, America was full of racial tensions and injustice. But there was hope in Martin Luther King, Jr. who preached equality and justice, was against violence and was a proponent of peace for all. However, when he was assassinated in April 1968, it seemed that what hope was there, was now gone. Though his followers fought on, the racial, political divide in America was more present than ever. For those who were teens and young adults in the 1960s, much of their beliefs center on these tensions and have shaped their view of the world.
- 9/11: If you ask a group of American adults in their mid-20s and older, they more than likely will be able to tell you where they were on the day the world stopped turning. While terroristic threats were nothing new to the United States, this event would become a culmination of American patriotism, shock, fear, and uncertainty. For many, there was life before 9/11 and life after. It changed the way people traveled, the way Muslims were treated in the United States and our sense of security in this world was forever lost.
Right now, you may not see it. But years from now, when the children of today are in college, and we ask them, “What do you remember?” you won’t be surprised to find out they remember fear and uncertainty. But, they’ll also remember a time when the family was together. When families looked out for one another. When life slowed down, even though it had no choice.
This will be one of those moments in history which shapes a life story. Be on the positive side of history with this. Give your family memories they can hold on to, grow from. Let fear be only a minor part of their history.
Remind your family today, that this too will pass. And it will change your life story. One day, you’ll want to remember these moments.
We’re here to help you write them down and to preserve those memories and stories for future generations.