Niagara Gazette — Born in 1995, they were just six years old when terrorists struck the World Trade Center, defining their reality which for those who grew up here in Niagara Falls also includes the ravages of economic decline from which many, if not most of their neighbors, friends and family have fled for what they believe to be greener pastures.
Except for a few history buffs and curiously inquiring minds, this generation is much more interested in looking ahead then looking back; for most, the future looks a lot better someplace else than does the recent past in Western New York.
The reality is, we may never be the same as we were in terms of the kinds of industry that once flourished here, but we sure can find our way forward and beyond if we focus on the successes of our past, and visualize the future in spite of the present.
I may be hallucinating, but I think we are poised to turn the corner, but to do it, we will have to start looking both ways; back and forward, incorporating the lessons we should have learned from the past with well thought out plans for the future.
The things that made Niagara Falls and Western New York great in the past are still here, alive and well.
That includes the spectacular beauty of our geology, the incredible opportunities that bordering the Great Lakes provides us: fresh water, energy, transportation, recreation and America’s largest trading partner, Canada!
Let us not forget either, the amazing roles that our Native, African, and European ancestors played here in shaping America and the world’s future; that part of our history must never be forgotten; it should be celebrated and used as a foundation upon which a clearer, brighter, and more hopeful future can be built.
As Confucius is credited with saying, “Study the past if you would define the future.”Contact Bill at email@example.com