Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Historic Memories

AA Pic of the Week 125 w ... this week features two photos in fact. The first one is taken in August 1968, five years after the second one. 1968 was the year of student revolts in many countries and the year when the Soviets crushed Dubcek's dream of a better life for Czechoslovakia after his "soft revolution", the Prague Spring. I was sitting in a 5th Avenue lunch bar in New York at the time with my sister when suddenly people started flooding in. There was a tangible buzz in the air; everybody was talking about the big news; the Russians had rolled into Prague to smother any chance of "socialism with a human face", as it was called. Shocking news!

That summer I was staying with my sister in Washington D.C. for eight weeks. I enjoyed the company of a group of Scandinavian air hostesses and their friends. I had a great time. My sister took me sight-seeing, as one does, and I saw all the sights, including a three-day trip to New York.

Looking at this picture, with my sister walking towards the Lincoln memorial in Washington, I can't help but think about today. At the time, I was obviously thinking about the events that had taken place five years earlier (second picture). Martin Luther King had been standing on the steps of that historic building in the background delivering his momentous "I Have A Dream" speech, which still today can bring tears to my eyes. I was walking where all those people had been standing, and I had a feeling of something I could not find words for then, and not even today.

But today when Barak Obama is waiting to take over and I look at this old slide photo, that same feeling comes back. President Obama, will he perhaps have a memorial building named after him in the future? Who knows?

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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Whau what a beautiful sister she was - ok still we have - but a little bit older. Love little sister Ninna

matthew_in_ham said...

I get the feeling of being in a historic place whenever I go to Vaclav Namesti (Wenceslas Square) in Prague. Like the places in your photos, the square is very long and you easily imagine it full of people all looking up the slight incline towards the Wenceslas Monument and the focus of the protests.

swenglishexpat said...

Ninna - We're all a bit older, I'm afraid!
Matthew - Of course! I never thought of that. You have connections at "the other end" of that story. With quite a few "historic events" one is quite happy to be there a long time after it happened. Other times rather envious.

swenglishexpat said...

Ninna - We're all a bit older, I'm afraid!
Matthew - Of course! I never thought of that. You have connections at "the other end" of that story. With quite a few "historic events" one is quite happy to be there a long time after it happened. Other times rather envious.

CanadianSwiss said...

I can't say I've had the same experience, but I've had a strong experience in Egypt while visiting the Karnak Temple although I've never been there before. It was powerful, pressing, relieving, vibrating, emotional,... And the list goes on. Maybe I was there in a past life?

Anyway, you made me re-read M.L. King's speech after decades (thank you), and all I can say is that I feel the same way you do.

Eric Valentine said...

I also feel as you do completely Swen.

I think there are many places in life where such feelings are re awakened many times over. I know I get that a lot my friend.

Great pictures as always Swen. :)

swenglishexpat said...

CS - Thanks, so it's not just me being sentimental then. Good. ;-)
Eric - Yes, visiting places where some sort of history has been made, makes you think, which is good.