Forgetting the Date

Jaime Coyne

As I sat here wondering what I should write about, my eye caught on something on my daily calendar on my desk. In tiny letters next to the date, it said ‘Veterans’ Day’. I did a double-take at this because how could it possibly be Veterans’ Day when I was completely unaware of it? All throughout my time at school, every year, Veterans’ Day had been a big deal. To us students, it was really just because we got a day off from school, and not because of whatever nice sentiment the administration was trying to get across, but still, we knew it was Veterans’ Day.

Election Day was this past week. I found out about it the day before, because my roommate happened to read it off her agenda. I have been planning on making sure I have an absentee ballot for the primaries in January, but I had totally missed the fact that Election Day even existed. Some people were shocked when I admitted this to them, but most people agreed that they had not known either.

I’m very disappointed in myself for being so out of touch. People are always advocating that you should stay on top of current events, be aware of recent issues, and make sure your voice is heard by voting. And when I hear such arguments, I agree. But how can you persist in these things when the problem is that you are ignorant until it is too late?

Maybe nothing was organized on Colgate’s campus for Veterans’ Day because they were afraid it would just highlight to students that they were not getting a holiday off. Maybe, in an ironic twist, there was something for Veterans’ Day but I didn’t realize it. In past school years, I’ve experienced speakers coming to my school, essay contests on the subject, and parades. I know that, as legal adults, we feel we don’t need the dumbed-down, patriotism-is-important generalized spiel regurgitated to us all the time like it was when we were younger. But wouldn’t an effort to alert us that the day is arriving be nice? We can fill in the appropriate reverence toward veterans ourselves, and make our own decisions whether to attend events related to the subject, if we only knew what was going on.

No one is perfect, and no one can know everything about current affairs that they should. I’m pretty sure few other people know when Flag Day is, and I only know because it is my sister’s birthday. If you are aware of a certain issue, spread the word, and do it in a timely manner. Tell people about an important upcoming event beforehand instead of being outraged at their ignorance when it is too late to do anything about it. We’re too old to take too much force-fed act-this-way-for-this-occasion sitting down. But if everyone would do their best to spread awareness, some of us might just choose by our own free will to get involved. So let’s reciprocate. You tell me what you know, and I’ll tell you where to bring the flag, well in advance.