I want everyone who is not deeply familiar with this particular piece of modern history to take now a step back and appreciate, how extraordinarily outrageous this is. We are not talking about a remote country you may never have heard before, we are talking about Czechoslovakia, the country that borders with Germany and Austria and of which the capital is Prague, now one of the top tourist destinations of Europe. We are also not talking about some past forgotten history and many people involved in the invasion are still alive.
While the death toll of 9/11 is undoubtedly tragic, the real reason why it became such a breaking point is that it hit so close to home for the western civilization. However, the events of 8/21 were just only a couple of hours of drive from Vienna, Frankfurt or even Paris and Brussels. Thus, the really intriguing thing about 8/21 for me is that nobody really seemed to give a fuck and we were lefty completely defenseless. The western world was both too scared of Soviets and too comfy in their nice flowery hippy sixties to move an eyebrow when a country that happened to be one of their close allies a couple of decades ago was overnight taken by force. The invasion, while luckily leaving "only" about a hundred immediate victims, completely halted the efforts to at least partially re-establish democracy in Czechoslovakia and led to twenty years of twisted soul-crushing regime from which the society of the (now two) countries have not healed even 25 years after the breakdown of the system in November 1989.
This year's anniversary is not particularly numerically special. Nevertheless I feel that there are good reasons to remember the events of 1968 right now.