Throughout time there is always moments that have such an impact on our lives that we remember exactly what we were doing the moment it happens.
Whether it was when Kennedy got shot......when a superstar died....the teacher who died in space....Sept. 11th.....etc.
Do you have a moment in history that you will always remember exactly what you were doing?
Where were you...
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I remember the day the space shuttle "Challenger" broke apart and we lost 7 crew members at 11:39am, 1986.
I was in high school, in the library. The TV was on, as kids and teachers alike were watching this live.
I remember watching, and then seeing this awful looking smoke form, and then silence. The kids were quiet, the teachers were quiet, and even the TV reporters were quiet for what seemed like an eternity. I don't think any one knew what had happened. I knew what I saw was not normal, and I knew it wasn't good.
Finally there were murmurs in the library, and the TV folks reported some type of "malfunction."
I knew in my gut it was disasterous. I'll always remember that day and where I was.
- Believe it or not.
1963 I was 3 and sitting wondering why the attendants were sobbing.
1981 Walking through Payless (They had an audio/video section then). Then came the announcement "President Regan has been shot" Man the guy in the tv section had every tv to a station for news...
1986 Challenger..Was asleep..I worked swing shift.
1995 Oklahoma City Bombing. Working at Tektronix printer division.
09/11/01 I was itting at home when Charlie Gibson was talking about the WTC building had been hit by a jet and he was talking to someone in the other tower when the SECOND plane came in. You could hear the guy he was speaking to scream "Another jet has hit the other tower!!"
It was the most shocking moment I have ever felt/experienced.
Went to work and by then all planes had been grounded..Scary and eerie for 3 days of no flights, except the air force now and then....
Finally, I had seen (Barely remembered) certain broadcasts of an incident I couldn't recall what was going on then. Later I watched the movie Apollo 13 and THAT'S when I remembered those news tidbits such as the basket ball, softball and piece of paper and the news guy firing off that torch simulating the re-entry. for the space craft.
- There are so many, many horrible moments in my life..I try not to remember all the bad things.
I do remember with great detail some of the great ones.
My first and favorite one is when I was in the first grade, they shuffled the whole school in this tiny room called the Audio Visual Room...it was like a closet with hard den chairs that all connected, and it had a T.V. with Rabbit Ears that was it. (Big Audio Visual).
We were brought in to see the first man land on the moon.
For a first grader, it was very cool.
I remember seeing the countdown of the rocket, the blastoff, and hours later them landing. It was quite a thing I will not forget.
Now a days, it kinda makes me sad when I see a 5 second blip on the news when one goes up. It's like, did that really happen? They spend billions of dollars on these trips...I have even worked with Rocket Scientists myself, on Manned Space Shuttle Projects, and cannot understand how little is shown to the public. I really think it is sad.
I watched in understanding as the shot was fired, and seeing the inevitable future conspiracy theories sat down to write a full expose... alas, at 9 months old My fingers were to small for the keyboards, the internet had not yet had Mr. Gores inspiration and I was stymied.
"Man Walks On the Moon"
My father worked long and hard to instill a strong work ethic into all of his children. Many was the time I saw my father, feeling like crap from some bug or the other heading out the door to go in to work, because it is what a Man does to feed his family... We were expected to show the same determination with our own responsibilities regarding school...
My father stayed home from work to watch that first step... We stayed home from school. A day I discovered there are always exceptions to rules... when the importance is relevant.
4 years later My father suffered a massive coronary, while at work...
Was double timing to the mess hall when the sirens blared, entire base went into lockdown as it was announced that Reagan had been shot. There was no doubt in any of our minds that if we were needed... we would be called to fullfill our oath...
We remained on lockdown for 24 hours with no more information than the original message, siting in our barracks on our duffles... It was a long 24 hours.
Tuesday 11th of September, 2001
I had just logged off from chatting to my wife who was in Morningside Heights in Manhattan using Yahoo Messenger. She was going to head downtown to beat the morning rush because she wanted to buy a new pair of shoes. The store she was going to was about a block from the World Trade center... that was 7 am. I was 2 hours north of the city, on a small piece of land I had purchased to have a out of the city get away for when her classes got to be too pressing. I was cruising the internet, playing games when in flipping past my yahoo page I saw a report of the first plane hitting. as I started trying to get more info on the tragedy and was able to get a live feed... I watched the second plane hit. It took me fourteen hours to cross the George Washington bridge, at the time State police and national guard were letting No one cross... I talked my way across pointing to the trailer load of shoring equipment and tools while explaining the need for the materials with the whether prediction for imminent rain. I had had no contact with my wife since 7 AM.
Wednesday Sept. 12th 2001
The streets of Manhattan were empty... Not a sound. The sky glowed to the south.
I pulled up to my wife's apartment where she had gathered the dozen or so Graduate students we called friends into her apartment. Each had been shuttling supplies throughout the day as she coordinated for either fight or flight... My wife Amazes Me.
I stayed at the apartment less than half an hour before she pointedly looked at me and stated... I know it's killing you... Go.
(I have been a member of volunteer fire departments in every area of the country I have lived that relies on a volunteer group for the purpose... It's what Dad would have expected)
The World Trade center... Ground Zero was a madhouse. I drove through deserted streets, stopping at Canal street to lock My Ford truck into 4 wheel drive. The ashes were over a foot deep. As I tried to work my way through I was redirected to Westside highway when I explained what I had loaded on the small trailor. I fireman that was with the officer was called over and I was given the name of a firechief.
(Ok I just killed two paragraphs describing the how and whats of those first hours... Lets just say I was able to convince people I knew what I was doing and talking about... then spent the next 30 hours working to hard to remember (or forget).
I could go on for hours... days even... the little hopes... the disappointments...
We spent a little over a week doing whatever we could... whatever was needed before enough order was established to place some form of official stamp to everything. Sometimes it seems like it was just one long day... with everything burned into My mind...
It took me 9 years before I walked past the site again...
It still pisses Me off to this day to see that hole in the ground.
- No Jimbeaux, this is the kind of stuff you need to get out of the system and such.
I tell you and everyone that if you have something interesting to let your kids know later, TAPE IT NOW.
My Mother had told us stories of her growing up, living in Texas, New Mexico, the times her brothers got close to an Indian Reservation and weird things that also occurred.
Now the chance to get that all is gone forever..NO telling what else she might have said during those times. Too smart, too late for me, but it's something you can do for it helps the future and you to get it out of the system as they say.
And frankly I have heard little from people at Ground Zero or those who'd even been there. It kind of helps get a "Grip" on things, emotions and such. Thanks for sharing.
- Jimbo,Jimbeaux wrote:
Sometime's you look back at what you have written and just realise how inappropriate it was... Sorry for the earlier rant.
Your reflections touched me deeply and i know sympathy is not what you are after. But know this.....i respect you more as each day passes that i get to know you. Your a man of many layers........and as each layer is uncovered you just keep getting better all the time.
I'm glad your part of my day to day world. Never be sorry....
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