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Old November 8th, 2013 (7:38 PM).
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twocows twocows is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
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When do tragedies cease to be tragedy and become history?

After everyone in the generation following the one it took place in is dead. In other words, nobody who knows anybody who was affected by it is left alive. I think that's removed enough that we can say the issue is in the past.

Things that happened in WW2 are still relevant because that generation is still alive; people who were children then are starting to get a bit old now. Likewise, something that happened at the turn of the 20th century could still be considered a tragedy because there are people alive who saw the impact it had on their family (a child who suffered some tragedy around 1900 would probably be dead today, but they may have carried the scars throughout their life and passed on the essence to their children).

On the other hand, things that happened during the United State Civil War are now pretty firmly in the "history" section. Nobody is alive from that era, and everybody in the following generation is either dead or close to it.

That's what I think.
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