Friday, November 11, 2011

Armistice Day

The late columnist Sydney J. Harris used to have a regular feature called: Things I learned while looking up something else. I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about computers, automobiles and other inventions that have drastically changed our lives. This made me think about thumbing through dictionaries and encyclopedias and how making those serendipitous discoveries is practically a thing of the past. Today you just google the word you're looking for, click the button and boom there's your answer, no need to trod through all that useless information, and no chance to discover something you weren't looking for in the first place.

Well that's not entirely true. Here's a photograph I stumbled across just now while searching for something else. It's perfectly appropriate for today, November 11, 2011, Veterans Day, or what used to be called; Armistice Day.

It was taken from the steps of the Art Institute of Chicago on the first Armistice Day, or more likely the following day, after the signing of the peace pact on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, that ended World War I, 93 years ago today.

Armistice Day celebration on South Michigan

At the risk of sounding like a broken record (yet another obsolete expression), it never ceases to amaze me how recognizable this city is after all these years. With the exception of one building, the light fixtures, and of course the people and cars, everything in that photograph remains today.

No comments: