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What’s the difference between wreckage and junk?

What would you classify this as:


As you can tell from the people standing around it – it’s wreckage.  It has value now precisely because it is wreckage.  It has value because of the events of one day.  It has value because of the cost of human lives associated with it.

The 9/11 museum is one of the most interesting museums by the mere fact that most of the main exhibit area is filled with wreckage.

Under just about any other circumstance, all of this stuff would just be thrown away and forgotten.  But we memorialize these items because of specific events.  Throwing them away seems sacrilegious.


Blood has been spilled.  And going back as far back as anyone can remember, the spilling of blood is associated with war and with sacrifice.  And so we commemorate both in our monuments and our museums.  We track time by these events and make them holidays, which seems appropriate.  A holiday is just a play on words – holy day.


Think about the next thing you throw away.  Why is it ok to throw away, instead of memorializing?