There’s something about huge tragedies that lodge forever in our memories. The Hindenburg disaster (no I wasn’t around for that). Pearl Harbor, (not that either), JFK’s assassination, the Challenger disaster, when Lady Diana was killed, and yes 911. All of us know exactly where we were and exactly what we did when he heard about those events.
Strangely some affected us directly (911) and some had no direct affect on us at all (Challenger or Diana). But we nevertheless remember. But what about great things that happened — How about the walk on the moon, or when Lindy crossed the Atlantic (no, I wasn’t there either.) Neither affected us directly, but we remember the moment as if it were yesterday.
When JFK was assassinated, I was walking in to my Italian class in my freshman year at UCLA. We all were stunned and went back to the dorm and listed to the news for three days. What horror.
When the Challenger blew up, I got the word standing in the reception area where I worked. I just went to my desk and sat, and thought about Christa McAuliffe, that school teacher who was on board.
I heard about Lady Diana when a guest at a party we were throwing told me when he walked in the door. We decided not to announce it but wait until details came one.
911 — I heard about it from a staff member on the east coast and then went across the street to tell a friend. He was watching TV and already knew.
As for the moon walk — I was in the Army and watching it live from my living room in on post housing in Okinawa.
I’m not sure what all this means, but the date today brings it to mind. I may have to do with how our minds work. I don’t know if this is true, but I would assume the more you think about something, the more ingrained it becomes in your mind. If you cut your finger you forget about it when the band aid comes off, but if your watch history being made, you roll it over and over in your mind, day after day, year after year.
Who knows, its as good a guess as any.
I wish you good thoughts on this anniversary of that horrible day in 1963.