Saturday Brett and I were talking about Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” I was not alive for a good chunk of that song, but I still know what the lyrics are talking about.
Earlier this year I was substituting in a high school history class and had to explicitly explain to the students that the Iron Curtain was not a physical thing like the Berlin Wall was. They were not even alive when the Wall fell.
Those same students cannot possibly remember the significance of today’s date even if they were alive for it.
They weren’t glued to the TV as much as possible that day, sickened at the similarity between the real life they were watching and the movies they’d seen in the past. They weren’t touched as they went to the grocery store in Mexico and saw American flags everywhere. Those events live in my memory, not theirs.
The fire of chaos still burns in the world. The news headlines from the day my daughter was born include a standoff at a Pakistan hospital, riot police in Instanbul, Iran reformists, Syrian rebels, and an IRS scandal.
Hopefully the fire of faith, conviction, patriotism, and brotherhood still burn as well.