As the end of the semester comes up, I am reflecting on what the role of witnesses are in the grand scheme of history. It seems to me that there are many different ways to be observers of history without even knowing it. Of course, there are plenty of people who seem to have awareness of the gravity of things around them. However, this is often the role of the radicals. People like Eamonn McCann, Huey Newton, Daniel Berrigan, and others know the importance of the situation at hand. They would not be taking such serious action if they believed it was not a historic moment. Revolutionaries certainly seem to ascribe to Lenin’s, “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” The question is whether or not this sentiment is shared with the general public. The critical factor for remembering these events is that many of these “radicals” are the ones writing about it, at least in popular history. Did the rest of the population actually see the late 60s as a time of historic importance the same way the radicals did? Truthfully, I don’t think we can answer that question with any confidence. When asked if the late 60s were significant, almost everyone who experienced them said that they were and that they knew it. However, this is probably largely influenced by their memories changing based on what the narrative was. Someone who watched the riots at the DNC on TV is going to say it was a big deal to them at the time, but how much is that simply what they are supposed to remember? Do we truly understand the significance of what is going on right now in 2020? I don’t think so, mainly because our memories of this year 30 years from now are not going to be the same as our experiences. How can we be good witnesses if we are told what to remember?