I remember being a younger version on myself and asking my mom, “Where were you when President Kennedy was assassinated?” I wasn’t even sure if my mom was old enough to remember that, but I asked anyway.
“I was in grade school, on the playground. We were all called back into our classrooms and watched the news the rest of the day.” She responded with a far off glaze in her eyes.
I remember asking my grandmother what she was doing on that infamous day in December when Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese. She was 11 in 1941. She was in grade school and she will never forget what that did to the country. She compares it to 9-11.
I wonder what my kids will ask me. “Do you remember where you were during the Columbine shootings?”
“How did you feel when you heard that the Twin Towers had been hit by airplanes?”
“What were you doing when Saddam Hussein was captured?”
I wonder what my response will be. Will I well up with tears for those who lost their lives? Will I remember my feelings with a heavy heart, or will I just state the facts plain and simple?
Even now thinking back on those events that have shaped the world we live in now, I am filled with immense sadness. I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing on those terrible and glorious days.
I was a junior in High School when the Columbine shootings happened. I remember sitting in my Social Studies class talking about what occurred. I remember looking at one girl who sat across the room from me and being shocked when she said, “If that were to happen, Nikki and Jennie would have been shot.” Wow, that stung. I changed my ways after that.
I was engaged to a man in the Navy when the towers fell. I was getting ready for my early morning classes and had sat down on the couch to watch the Today Show when I watched the second plane crash into one of the towers. My cell phone rang and my fiancé told me his ship was leaving the coast and he didn’t know when he would be able to talk to me again. I was an emotional disaster.
My friends wanted to watch the coverage over and over. I couldn’t take it. I went into the bathroom and curled up into a ball and cried. I cried my eyes out. I cried for those who lost their lives. I cried for those who lost loved ones. But mostly I cried because I didn’t know what would happen to my fiancé.
I was washing dishes in my in-laws kitchen when my father-in-law told me Saddam Hussein had been captured that morning before we went to church. I didn’t believe him and made him turn the television on to show me, and there before my eyes was video of Saddam being led away in handcuffs from his hideout. My feeling that day: happiness. I thought to myself, “the war we’ve been fighting was worth it. The sacrifice of those in the military was all for this.”
I hope I always remember what I was doing and how I felt on those important days in history.
Where were you on those life altering dates? Do you remember what you were thinking and feeling when those events occurred?