Where Were You?

I was surfing online earlier, and ran across a long list of postings on a blog about where people were when some of the most shocking events to occur during our lifetime took place. From the death of John Lennon and the Challenger explosion, to 9/11, everyone their own personal take, the exact place they were when they heard the news, and the lasting impact it left. Some of the remarks were disrespectful and disgusting, so I decided to compile a list of my own.

The resignation of Richard Nixon- I was only three at the time, but I remember it vaguely. I knew something was happening by the atmosphere at my grandparents’ house that day. When I asked my Mom what was going on, she told me “we’re about to get a new president.” What stood out to me most was Tricia Nixon, in a yellow dress. Yellow is my favorite color.

The death of Elvis- This is the first celebrity death I remember. I had never heard of Elvis, so when my family was so shocked by his passing, I wanted to know more about him. I watched all the coverage for the rest of the night, and ended up becoming a fan.

The murder of John Lennon- I didn’t know who John Lennon was, but I remember hearing about his death on the local evening news. My Mom was stunned, saying “One of the Beatles was killed.” I would find and play her “Hard Day’s Night” album for the first time a few weeks later.

The assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan- I was home from school, watching cartoons. There was an hourly news update done by junior high and high school kids. One of them announced the shooting. I didn’t believe them, and decided to turn to ABC, where the news coverage was in progress. I ran and told my Mom, who was in the kitchen cooking dinner. As night fell, the more it began to bother me.

Marvin Gaye’s death- This was the only tragic event I heard first on the radio. The DJ delivered the awful news, then began to play “What’s Going On”. I got no sleep that night.

The Challenger explosion- I was a freshman in high school, in second period drama class. Class was about 10 minutes from being over, when the principal came on the intercom to announce the tragedy. School was quiet and solemn for the rest of the day.

The death of Princess Diana- I was in the shower, washing my hair when my Mom and sister banged on the door to tell me the news. I thought I had misheard them, until I first saw the coverage on TV. My first thought was her two boys.

JFK Jr’s plane crash- We had stopped watching Saturday morning TV years ago, so when I saw the TV on the livingroom, I knew something was wrong. Mom told me “John-John’s” plane was missing. My heart sank. No one had much of an appetite for breakfast.

9/11- I was getting ready to go to the college library. While getting dressed, I had the TV on, watching the news. I was trying to understand and piece together what they were saying about the World Trade Center having been hit by an airplane. When I saw the second plane hit live, I understood. For the next four days, I only wanted to watch coverage of the tragedy, nothing else.

The death of Michael Jackson- We had already been mourning the loss of Farrah Fawcett, when my sister called out to me Michael Jackson had been rushed to the hospital with cardiac arrest. Thirty minutes later, I turned to CNN to get some facts, and was shocked to see the words “Michael Jackson Dies” at the bottom of the screen. We couldn’t believe it. It just didn’t seem real.

These are events which shape your attitudes, and perspective on life. They change you. Each affected me very differently. Some I recall every year, while others may bypass me from time to time. However, when they are mentioned, I always remember.

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~ by kmnnz on July 6, 2011.

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