2013 has been a year of celebrating anniversaries of historic events and cultural milestones: the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, the 50th anniversary of the Beatles debut album, “Please Please Me.”

It took 50 years to measure the lasting impact of those events, but much less time to note the sweeping power of an ignominious milepost- the five year anniversary of the financial crisis.  Last week the nation paused to note the start of the crisis, which nearly toppled the American economy and sent the global economy into a near death spiral. 

We weren’t expecting it- at the beginning of 2008 we were in the midst of a polarizing emotional presidential campaign. By midyear 2008 our attention was focused on other cultural and social shifts – dictator Fidel Castro resigned, California approved same sex marriage, and runner Usain Bolt broke world track records.

We ignored the ominous hints-- the worldwide stock market dropped sharply on a day dubbed "Black Monday", and gold prices shot up to $1,000 an ounce. Then suddenly- a financial meltdown. Lehman Brothers was shuttered, and Wall Street was linked to a mortgage scam perpetrated by some greedy multimillionaires for who more than enough is never enough.

President Obama observed the fiscal crisis anniversary by pointing to his administration’s stimulus initiatives, efforts he says that have led to -more jobs, and a drop in the overall unemployment rate to just over 7 percent.

But, these past five years have felt like 50 to Americans who’ve lost homes, and who are still beleaguered by layoffs, depressed wages, and long-term unemployment. And the casualties keep piling up.

Seven hundred Massachusetts Intel workers –most of whom earned $80,000 dollars or more-- will lose their jobs at the end of this year when the computer chip maker closes its Hudson based plant.

Meantime those Wall Street bigwigs? --- many have come out of the recession better than before the fiscal crisis.

Happy anniversary Wall Street. Forgive us if we don’t throw a party.