When Kennedy was shot, I was in high school. I was home from school, sick. But not really. Just home from school. Lying on the couch and watching TV. In retrospect I wish I'd been at school with all the other kids. It was comforting to be able to share the experience with Mom, however; and we were glued to the set. But it would have been good to share it with my peers too. It did feel like we lost our innocence then. Our handsome president and his lovely family. We didn't know of any behind the scenes familial gossip in those days. We just knew that we loved the Kennedys. All of them. Their mystique, their good looks, their class, their money, their religion. Everything was glossy, and glossed over. Our hearts hurt, and still do, at the thought that Jack was murdered.
When the Challenger exploded I was driving from St. Louis to Quincy. Went to grad school in St. Louis, but lived and worked in Quincy. I heard about it on the radio station I listened to. I immediately changed to NPR and listened in horror. Had to pull off on the side of the road because I was crying so hard. What a waste of beautiful lives. I kept thinking about Christa McAuliffe, the teacher on board. And her family.
On 9/11 I was living in St. Louis and working at a Crisis Center. Was getting ready for work and watching the Today Show as always. And suddenly there it was. And things would never be the same again.
As part of my job, I debriefed some Ground Zero workers by phone. I'm still touched by their pain.
It's funny, that working in the crisis field, no one has talked about it at CPI today. I've looked at the news myriad times, but I do that anyway. Today I'm kind of numb. And it's almost like waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I cried at home before I came in to work.
What about you? Where were you on momentous occasions (if you were alive at the time)?