Friday, March 25, 2011

Amber & The Importance of Remembering

It's the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, an event remembered annually on the Lower East Side with chalk and on this blog with photos of the chalk memorials that magically (if magic means a group of dedicated New York historians wake up early and pull these text rabbits out of their winter hats) spring up all over town.

Being a big, round, three-digit number, this anniversary has gotten a good amount of attention--which, after all, is the point of the annual chalking: that we remember and reflect back on the lessons we can learn from the tragedy.  It seems especially relevant these days, with anti-immigrant sentiment, to remember the contribution (and often sacrifices) immigrant workers make to American business, with anti-labor legislation making shocking headway, to remember the humanity of the work force, and locally, with history being erased all around us to make room for luxury condominiums, to remember New York as it once was and take pride in that spirit and struggle.

Huh.  I know somebody who has that exact jacket and sneaker in that lower left corner there.  I will have to remember to tell him about this moving anniversary.

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