Scholarly lecture will reflect on Sept. 11

Central Connecticut State University history professor and author Matthew Warshauer will lead the final installment of the Wilton Library and Wilton Historical Society’s 10th annual scholarly lecture series Sunday, April 2, at the Wilton Historical Society, 224 Danbury Road.

For his 9/11 and America’s World View lecture, Warshauer said, his goal is to “reflect on where America is today — 15 years after 9/11 — and in the midst of what many see as chaos both at home and abroad.

“In particular, the 100th anniversary of America's entry into WWI should remind us that peace is not a given,” he said.

“The US has been a leader in world affairs since the end of WWII, and we as citizens should think about what role we can and should play in the 21st Century.”

During his talk, Warshauer will reflect on America's response to the 9/11 attacks, including, he said, “the sense of loss and tragedy,” as well as “the outrage that led us to war in the Middle East and how nationalism and politics played into the move towards a war that has no end in sight.

Not only will Warshauer also examine the nation's memory of the tragedy, he said, but also explore the loss of the memory.

“This past fall saw the first high school freshman class born after 9/11,” he said.

“Those of us who lived through it will ever forget, but we assume that there is a sort of 9/11 DNA chip that passes on the experience.”

That, he said, is “most certainly not the case.”

The events of 9/11, said Warshauer, “may as well be Pearl Harbor for the coming generations — though not nearly so ‘clean’ an historical cause-and-effect as our entry into Iraq and going after those who were responsible for the attack.”

Through his scholarly series lecture, Warshauer said he hopes to provide a “big picture of history.”

“In our fast-paced society where even last week seems like a blur, we tend to focus on presentism and the future more than the past — yet the past is our guide to the future and if we don't pay attention to it we will repeat it. We see that all around us today,” he said.

“Think about it this way: Where would you be? What type of person would you be? What has brought you here? Your past, plain and simple. It is no different for a community or nation.  

Warshauer’s lecture will take place from 4 to 5:30, followed by a Q&A session and reception. There is no charge, but registration is required.

Information and registration: