Jan 28, 2008

Challenger disaster and other memorable events

Today I looked at my nifty Year In Space desk calendar and I was reminded that 22 years ago today, the Challenger shuttle exploded.

I remember sitting in Miss Bliss's classroom watching it on television. I even remember that my seat was facing the windows. It was one of those events that people who were alive when it happened can say: "I remember where I was when X happened."

Other events that reach this magnitude are:
-Pearl Harbor Attack
-V-E Day
-VJ Day
-JFK Assassination
-Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassination
-RFK Assassination
-John Lennon Assassination
-OJ Simpson Verdict
-9/11

There are obviously others and some of the ones listed are not from my lifetime, but these seminal moments mark moments when most of us can connect with events simply by having a memory of its occurrence. If someone knows a term for describing these events as a group, please tell me what it is.

For the record, here's where I was:
Lennon's death: In nursery school. I remember going thttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifo a candlelight vigil even though I did not know who he was.

OJ Verdict: I was on the street in Jerusalem and a teenage girl spotted me as a likely American and just HAD to share the news that OJ was found not guilty.

9/11: I was home in the first apartment that Elana and I shared in Jerusalem. I remember making dinner, talking to Elana and then taking a bus to work at the Jerusalem Post. (The events of 9/11 were stretched out and I remember hearing that the first tower fell at home and the second one fell while I was on the bus.)

If anyone would like to share where YOU were, please leave a comment. I'd like to know.

UPDATE: Tovah mentioned two more.
-The Oklahoma City Bombing
-Yitzchak Rabin's Assassination

For Oklahoma City, I remember distinctly being sick in bed with mono. I have been tortured by the OJ Simpson trial being on EVERY channel for a month. I was talking with my Mom on the phone and said something like, "Oh great, something is pre-empting OJ." Then I realized what had happened and I felt bad for saying that.

For Rabin, I was sick and on a bus from Herzelia to Jerusalem. My Hebrew was very limited and so I didn't understand why the bus driver had turned up the volume to max. I only learned what it meant as I took a cab from the bus station and got the driver to spell it out in simple words.

3 comments:

Michelle said...

I admit, I was only alive for the last two events on your list, but I'll share my memory of those.

I watched the OJ verdict live in middle school. As I recall, it was followed by essay-writing about race relations in the United States.

As for 9/11, I was in my Brandeis sophomore-year dorm, and I heard the news on my alarm clock radio when it went of at 9:00. Truth be told, I thought it was a fake news broadcast, as my alarm radio was set to this loud, obnoxious station that never failed to wake me up. It wasn't until I got to the cafeteria for breakfast that I realized it was true.

Tovah said...

You forgot Oklahoma City - I remember that better than OJ Simpson. For that, I was in middle school at the time, and was at my friend's house for the weekend, and I remember seeing it as we passed by the TV in the small room off the kitchen, and stopping to find out how bad it really was.

9/11, I was getting back from early crew practice, and someone from across the hall from me told me something had happened in NYC, since she new I was from that area (she knew b/c I think her roommate from NYC had gotten a call). I heard the 1st tower fall while still in my room listening to the radio, then saw the 2nd on TV in the lounge w/ a growing group of ppl. And being in Boston at the time, it was especially scary b/c the flights had all gone out of Logan airport in Boston.

Oh, and Rabin's assassination. Also in middle school. I was getting ready to go to a bat mitzvah party after shabbat, and we heard something on the radio and didn't really believe it, and left for the party, and in the car on the way we heard more and it started to sink in.

Ruth Marie said...

Trying to think of a name for those experiences...Closest I have come is "watershed," --not right but approaching right. Divides time into before and after the event, forever different because of it.