My parents’ generation had JFK’s assassination, the moon landing, and the Apollo 13 return as their “I remember exactly what I was doing when I heard about…” moments. My dad used to save the newspapers with those headlines.
My first one was the Reagan assassination attempt–announced over the intercom in school. I was in social studies class and I remember thinking, “Hey, this is one of those big deal things I’ll remember forever. Like when JFK got shot.” I felt like a grown up.
Challenger explosion–I was eating lunch at home on a break from work. I was wearing my Bears sweatshirt in celebration of the Super Bowl win. I felt shock, thinking, “Holy shit. I just watched people die.”
Then, the first Gulf War–I was stuck in traffic on the way home from work. Came home to see CNN’s live coverage of all those green tracers. It’s what made CNN a big deal. I felt even more grown up because I figured it was my generation’s turn to send our friends to war. And they went.
9/11–I was feeding my infant daughter and watched it all live on Good Morning America. I didn’t know what to do. I felt like a child and called my dad.
There are also the private moments–An ugly car crash that should have killed me as a teenager, my mother’s illness and death, the first time my future husband brought up the subject of marriage, my sister’s illness and death, the deal I made with God when I wasn’t getting pregnant with my first child, the day I found out I was pregnant, and on they go.
What are your moments? Do you ponder them in your heart? My private moments may not be newsworthy to rest of the world but, they are etched in my soul. I have to believe they are to be revisited now and again. I dare you to revisit yours.