Memories and Eye Witness Accounts

Memories and eyewitness accounts…It is my experience that neither are very reliable. In fact, in my old age I have now begun to question every autobiography I have ever read (both of them). I have a pretty darn good memory, and at one time in my life, I thought it was pretty darn accurate! I still do, just not as accurate as I once thought it was. I have even seen and heard of two or more people witnessing the same event and yet everyone that saw an event would report differently what they saw. Strange…

Case in point…I went to school with a guy about 40 years ago. I knew his name then…and I knew his name all these 40 years. I find him on Facebook and realize that the name I remember him as was not the name he was born with…they’re close, but not the same.

Same thing with some of my old Navy buddies that I have been trying to find. I remembered one of these fellows being in my Boot Camp Company only to find (definitively) that was he in a different company.

It goes in the other direction too. Many times someone has challenged me over a memory and many times I have proven them wrong. These are memories they would swear to in a court of law (just like I would have too).

So when you read an autobiography, remember it may be OR may not be an accurate account of what actually happened. And when you read one of my “memories”…remember it’s an event or memory of how “I” remembered what happened. It’s not a lie, it’s not an exaggeration, its simply how I remember it…and more importantly…how my mind plays it back to me.

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