But to mark the passing of a age requires that those marking that passage stand outside that age. That "apartness" might itself be marked by the passage of time, or a change to the place from which such judgment can be made. On this 75th Anniversary of the start of the Allied invasion of Europe to defeat the Axis Powers (and ultimately to bring about the birth of a new age, it is worth thinking, if only for a moment about the passing of time--and in this case about the passing of an age that is itself marked by the celebrations designed to affirm the birth of that age. This post , then, is an elegy for the celebrations of the coming of the new age of globalization that itself now marks the passga eof the age the birth of which it is meant to celebrate.
The birth of an age can me marked by a celebration of the vitality of a passing age--here the marker is recognized for what it is only well after the fact. The funeral celebrations of Edward VII in 1910 is a well known event--the last gathering of the royal huses of a Europe on the brink of violent transformation. Another was the 2,500th year of Foundation of Imperial State of Iran (Persian: دوهزار و پانصدمین سال بنیانگذاری شاهنشاهی ایران), consisted of an elaborate set of festivities that took place on 12–16 October 1971--another gathering of notables of a world that would soon recede into memory.
But the ceremony itself can acquire an ironic meaning--becoming more meaningful for what it points to rather than what it points at. In those cases, ceremonies that were meant to convey important symbolic or catalyzing moments in, and affirmation of, a current age may actually serve to mark the passing of that age. That dissonance may be marked as much by the age of the celebrants, whose passing also signals the passing of the age they created, as by the context in which the celebrations no long appear to have much contemporary (as opposed to historical) reference. Equally likely is that the key celebrants might themselves mark the event not so much as a celebration but as an elegy for an age just passed; they "come to bury Caesar, not to praise him" (Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act III, scene II.
(Pix Credits: Xi and Putin HERE; Normandy Ceremony HERE))