Our View: This is the history we will be writing
March 4, 2022
There seems to have been a time, perhaps in a galaxy far, far away, when we in the United States felt rather comfortable. A time when conflict and major events of history seemed to be something you only read about in history books.
How quickly things can change. Let alone a political divide that no one alive today has ever seen so strident, the now two-year Covid-19 pandemic will leave an imprint that generations after us will be digesting. The same can be said of the social unrest sparked by the continued extrajudicial killing of Black people.
And isn’t it just beguiling that just as we seemingly have pulled ourselves out of the Covid roulette wheel, we now have a conflict in Eastern Europe that has older folks recalling “duck and cover” and fallout shelter days of the Cold War.
It’s quite the mind-bend to realize that we are experiencing in real time some of the most extraordinary events of the past 100 years.
We perused some old newspapers online, and found that in October of 1918, Cloquet and the murkily stateless area known as “the Ukraine” shared front pages across the globe as World War I still raged.
It is indeed more comfortable to look at historic events of 104 years in the rearview mirror. Think of what you intend to tell your grandchildren and perhaps their children just what it was like to be alive in 2020 and beyond. Right now, we imagine those words are hard to come by. Some time, perhaps, is needed, some perspective.
We encourage you to make your thoughts and experiences known. Oftentimes, the moment overcomes, and just seems all too encompassing to translate into something future generations will understand.
But think of how valuable the recorded recollections of the 1918 fires are. A permanent record written contemporaneously gives those next generations a better understanding of just how life is right now. There’s that old, wise saying from Gil Scott-Heron in the 1970s, that the revolution will not be televised — as in, don’t expect others to make the change, do it yourself.
The same can be said of taking the time to record what life is like right now. It’s history. It’s now. It’s you. Let others know — 10, 20 and 100 years from now — what it is like to live today.