Lance Scranton: Memories of 9-11
September 11, 2018
History passed us by just the other day, and we didn't stop, because we had not the time. In our rush to get ahead and be on time and make sure everything is getting done, we forgot to take the time to remember why the time we mark is so important.
Rushing on to the next thing is easily our most identifiable attribute as Americans. We stop to consider things infrequently enough we have to be reminded on Facebook or by a commercial that there is something in the frenzy of time that constantly interferes with our consideration of those things which have gone before us.
As my classes read Carl Sandburg's "Grass," I ask them to consider the themes presented by the poem:
Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work —
I am the grass; I cover all.
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And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:
What place is this?
Where are we now?
I am the grass.
Let me work.
Maybe the poem is too short to do justice to the incredible feat that grass performs as the battlefield turns green and nature takes its course. Nature does a great job of covering up our dirty work of wars and battles, but we don't seem to learn. As the grass repairs the battlefield scars, even our heroes are forgotten, as younger generations cast off the burden of having to remember such ancient disagreements.
Nature has a way of going about the business of growing and repairing the giant messes we make of ourselves, and we stop for just a few brief seconds to make the obligatory tip of the hat to those who have fallen or served that we can live lives of freedom.
Rushing here and there, we forget that our country has been reborn so many times through the blood of our forefathers. Sacrifices made, but too often forgotten, as time ticks away.
Too many have paid a great price for us to just continue on, busily throughout our day, and not give thanks and remember that this life we enjoy was purchased by the deaths of so many.
Lance Scranton is a teacher and coach at Moffat County High School.