Ribbon on the Hat or Something?
In the news today is a story about how the University of Alabama Athletics Department requested Tide players to change their profile pics to one of a houndstooth hat, in honor of what would have been Paul "Bear" Bryant's 100th birthday. This request was met with criticism from those who thought it to be insensitive to the lives lost, families affected, and historical significance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Should the parents who had children on that day not hold birthday celebrations for their children? Should couples who got married on that date not celebrate their anniversaries? Is it inappropriate for them to take trips or hold parties to commemorate their nuptials?
Let's bring this even closer to home. April 27, 2011 affected us all! Let's just say a company first opened its doors on April 27, 1964. Would it be insensitive for that company to hold a 50th Anniversary Celebration next year and ask its employees to change their FB profile pictures to that of a flyer, inviting the public to attend the celebration?
Personally, while I know it's important to know the past to know where you're going, I think we put too much emphasis on the past. While the University of Alabama isn't allowing black women into white sororities (*giggle* I had to slide that in there), the school is making great strides to be more diverse. This year alone, NUMEROUS events were held in honor of the 1963 Civil Rights Movement. Why not remember the 100th birthday of the coach who was in place at that time? Of course, he would become the school's first coach to allow a black player on the field.
I think what we fail to comprehend is that history is STILL in the making. Should a peace treaty be signed between the United States and any nation on September 11, 2014, should that day not be recognized as historical because of what happened in 2001? My personal thought is that it's more than okay to recognize and remember, but to hold an annual funeral for September 11, April 27, or any other tragic day in history forces one to relive a pain that needs to be relieved.
I REFUSE to let one day in history marr my annual celebration of my younger brother's birth, and if the University of Alabama Athletic Department wanted to honor Coach Bryant's, so be it. Maybe they should have placed a ribbon on the hat.