Tom Brokaw and the History Books
By Sam Burnham
My oldest son came to me last tight with a question. He was curious about a time in history that I remebered well. He was asking me about the Irish Republican Army. I didn't learn about the IRA from history lessons. I learned about the IRA from the NBC Nightly News. Dad would often mumble about the left leaning bias of the media but choices were few in those days and Tom Brokaw was his go-to. My apologies to Peter Jennings.
Back to the present. My son was curious about this time when "Northern Ireland looked like Syria." We discussed the animosity between the IRA and the British government. We also discussed the end of that era and the two sides talking and making peace while looking for more humane solutions to their disagreements.
Growing up, I was a curious kid. I enjoyed watching the evening news with my dad and keeping up with current events. My kids are similar. While we use online sources for news and don't even have cable at home, they still enjoy keeping up with the news and discussing it with me. Our age has its own struggles and conflicts but I have been thinking about things that happened in my youth that my kids see only from the perspective of history. Here are a few:
1) The conflict in Northern Ireland
2) The Berlin Wall
3) The Polish Solidarity Movement
4) The war between the former Yougoslav republics
5) The Cold War & arms race
6) The conflict between the Sandinistas & Contras
7) The Iran-Iraq War
8) War in Lebanon
9) The L.A. riots
10) Recurring Lakers vs Celtics for NBA Championship
Names of players and locations may change but the more things change, the more they stay the same.
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Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire