I have been reading on the internet and hearing on TV and radio news over the past week how many people say they will always remember where they were and what they were doing the moment they heard that Osama bin Laden had been killed.
I don’t know, do you think it was really that kind of moment? Maybe it is, for the younger folks. But I still remember where I was amd what I was doing the moment I heard that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas back on November 22, 1963…
…I was in the fifth grade at Lincoln School in Redwood Falls. I walked home as usual for lunch, and when I arrived at home my mom had the TV on, and it was there on the noontime news. At that point all that was known was that he had been shot, and was in surgery at a hospital in Dallas. When I walked back to school, the teacher and several of the girls in the class were in tears, and like a dumb 5th-grader, I asked why, and they replied that the president was dead. I said no, that he had just been shot but was in surgery, but they replied that the news had just come over the radio that President John F. Kennedy was dead.
I remember watching the old black-and-white TV in the living room on that Sunday evening, I think it was, in 1967 when the Arab/Israeli 6-day war broke out. I can remember getting really strange vibrations from my parents about this. I understand their tensions now, many years later. They had both lived through WWII, Korea, and at that time part of the Vietnam war, and this new one was hitting the “Holy Land”, and people were not sure what would come of that!
I remember good things, like the farm I was on, installing a windshield, when President Ronald Reagan was inaugurated, it was announced that the American hostages in Iran were released, and I listened to his inauguration address.
I remember coming in to work on the morning of September 11, 2001, and hearing that an airliner had crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center in New York. I also remember the house I was at on Thompson Ravine Road, and the old Chevy S-10 pickup I was working on when I heard on the radio that another jet had hit the other tower.
As for the killing of Osama bin Laden, well, it seems to me I had come out of the bathroom at around 5:40 am, grabbed my electric razor and turned up the sound on the TV when I heard the lady on the Weather Channel say something about the killing. That was the first I had heard of it, and I checked it out on a news channel and confirmed it in the local newspaper that had been printed in the wee hours of the night after the news had come out.
But I really had to concentrate to remember that one.
Now I don’t know if all these events I have mentioned really qualify as “those” moments, those special ones that you remember all your life. I know the Kennedy assassination is one, much like the moment eleven+ years before my birth when the announcement came that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor was for my parents. I would imagine there were other moments that could qualify, like where people were and what they were doing when they heard the news that Germany had surrendered in WWII, that we had dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, that we were going to war in Korea — those were all before my birth.
Those were moments. Perhaps the killing of Osama bin Laden will turn out to be one of those moments, too.