Yes, America Has Changed

We will forget. Researchers have long known that the memory of epochal events fades with time. Experts have a name for this phenomenon: flashbulb memory. As time passes, the chronology gets jumbled; we fumble on the details; we reimagine the past to make it more coherent, meaningful, bearable. A new study at the University of Illinois at Chicago of a large, countrywide sample of people is discovering that we have already forgotten some things about Sept. 11. Which tower fell first? Was the Pentagon hit after both World Trade Center towers? We forget. We conflate. We confuse.

But we know, of...

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