History IS Here Month

Posted May 6, 2020 at 5:56 am by

Here’s this month’s his­to­ry col­umn from the San Juan His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety and Muse­um

Remem­ber when we could hap­pi­ly pose this close to each oth­er in a crowd of peo­ple, just like the Hemphill fam­i­ly and friends did around 1910 in the pho­to­graph above? As every­one knows, we cur­rent­ly live in a time defined by a nov­el coro­n­avirus, where nor­mal social behav­ior is a change­able thing.

Just about all of us have lived through at least one life-chang­ing event that, on a nation­al scale, has shak­en our views of the future or changed how we go about life. It’s the kind of event in which you remem­ber where you were when you heard the news. For many of us, it was the ter­ror­ist attacks on our coun­try on Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001. Or the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy on Novem­ber 22, 1963. Sud­den, trag­ic events. 

But there is anoth­er kind of defin­i­tive event which unfolds slow­ly. It’s what we have today with the world pan­dem­ic known as COVID-19. We are liv­ing today what will be in the his­to­ry books of the future. So, while the month of May is still offi­cial­ly called “His­to­ry Lives Here” month, this year we have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to doc­u­ment how this time­stamp on island life is being made here local­ly dur­ing a time of phys­i­cal dis­tanc­ing and even self-iso­la­tion. This is the year of “His­to­ry IS Here,” it seems to us. 

Why not write down some thoughts, some expe­ri­ences, to pass on to your family’s future gen­er­a­tions. What will you remem­ber most? Will it be Zoom meet­ings (or Zoom Hap­py Hours)?  A wed­ding post­poned? That your fam­i­ly could not come up to the island for East­er? That your busi­ness, and just about every­thing else, had to close for such a long time? Was it the kind­ness of some­one you had not known before?

A jour­nal or a mem­oir does not need to be for­mal or pol­ished. Just jot down your expe­ri­ences and impres­sions to rep­re­sent this unusu­al time. Con­sid­er mak­ing a copy to be pre­served at the San Juan His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety and Muse­um. Most impor­tant­ly: be safe, be well.

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Categories: History

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