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May 25, 2012

Amarcord. "I Remember."

Memorial Day is in three days: May 28. In the U.S. it started as a way to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War, and was expanded after World War I to include all war dead. Many Americans think of it more generally as a way to meditate on family and friends who have died.

Me? I use it to remember two generations of Americans who worked too hard--and were way too proud--to over-meditate on concepts like work-life balance and get-a-life. First, the Founders, designers of the greatest experiment in government our world has yet seen. Second, my parents' tribe, our WWII "greatest generation", forged in both economic and human suffering. Both generations were feisty, determined, long-suffering, smart and brave. They built and rebuilt. Persistence mixed with resilience, and done well enough, can be an art form.

And to think about Life. In the U.S. and everywhere, it's moving, painful, wonderful, unfair, funny, sad, silly, magical, profound--and in the end "too important to be taken seriously". The Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini thought so, too, in his 1973 film Amarcord ("I Remember"), about growing up in small-town Italy.


Posted by JD Hull at May 25, 2012 11:59 PM


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