In many countries, certainly in Europe, shared national memory has a reality in the naming of public squares and boulevards by dates. The equivalent for us would be if the Fourth of July were one term in a vocabulary of dates with civic emotional meaning, rather than unique. (There are not likely to be boulevards named for December 7 or November 22.)
In October 1999, American Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky reflected on
what makes the American people "a people" -- and what our poetry can teach us about the "fragile, heroic enterprise of remembering"