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On this day in history and COVID


Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini gives a rousing speech. Photo courtesy of Google Images.

In this day in history on April 28, 1945, Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini was executed. He ruled Italy with an iron fist during the war, and he was killed by Italian partisans, bringing an end to his puppet regime in the country. It led me to thinking how long it would be until people began to forget what the world went through under the Pandemic. The Spanish Flu lasted from January 1918 through December of 1920. First off, let's all hope it doesn't last as long as that did, but secondly, let's remember that they did not use the precautionary measures we have in place today. Lastly, how long did it take for people back then to forget its effects?

If history is any indicator, time does heal all wounds. The roaring twenties followed the Spanish Flu of course and people soon basked in excess. The decade gave way to the Harlem Renaissance, the prohibition of alcohol, the Jazz Age, the flapper, the low-cost Model T, and with all of the changes, people most likely put the past behind them.

I'm reminded of a similar major event in our recent history: the September 11 attacks. I remember the day it happened like it were only yesterday. I was sitting in sophomore chemistry class when an otherwise cheerful teacher received a note from a student at the doorway. His face turned stone and informed us that the World Trade Center was destroyed by a hijacked commercial airplane. The class fell silent. It was like we lost a close relative. Throughout the school day, we watched footage of the event live from class television sets, and I thought we were about to enter World War III. I remember the high patriotism that filled the country for our police and firefighters, as they worked in tandem to save as many lives as they could at Ground Zero. I remember attending an all-school assembly in respect for the first responders, and the guest of honor was one of those first responders. Not a single high school student in attendance spoke a word. Not one teenager. It was the most moving and most somber assembly I had ever been to in my life.

In the years that followed, the anniversary became less and less of a somber note and more and more of a distant memory. Just as some people don't know what happened on December 7, 1941, some may eventually not know what happened on that fateful day on September 11 when the World Trade Centers were destroyed, a plane crashed into the Pentagon, and one crashed into a field in Somerset County in Pennsylvania. My high school students were not even born when 9/11 happened, and they have no tangible memory of the day. At the time, I remember reading the news about it in a 'newspaper.' All you have to do is find out how many news offices underwent closures or massive layoffs to find how many people don't read the paper anymore.

Yes, so we may remember the pandemic when the vaccine comes out and we take it every year along with the flu, but we most likely will forget why we are taking it. After all, the flu once ravaged this country and people tend to forget that. But maybe it's for the best. Live and let live. And for this pandemic, live and let die already.

To find out what else happened on this date in history, visit here: history.com

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