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Monday, January 28, 2013

Of Milestones, Forgotten...

Twenty seven years ago, we lost the Space Shuttle Challenger some 73 seconds after liftoff. I had to go to the Bismarck Tribune to find any coverage of this seminal event, and an op-ed at that. For a long time, the explosion of the shuttle was the "where were you when" moment for my generation, much like the Kennedy assassination was for the generation before us.

A few years ago I posted my recollections from the day. I can still remember the shock and silence when we heard the news of the shuttle's explosion, even though other events have overtaken the Challenger in scope and tragedy. I know my mom vividly remembers the Kennedy assassination - we revisited it in 1981 during the attempt on Reagan's life - so it seems as though certain events leave imprints throughout a lifetime.

I wonder what the current generation will be remembering more than a quarter century from now?

That is all.

14 comments:

Wraith said...

They'll probably be remembering where they were when they heard Snooki was knocked up. :(

Ancient Woodsman said...

C-lot at UNH for the Challenger. Just got in my car. On my bike at North Beach in North Hampton for Reagan, but didn't know it until I got home.

Never will forget either one nor where I was at the time.

Old NFO said...

I'd say they will remember 9/11. For me Kennedy- 7th Grade Math Mrs. Tye, Reagan, on deployment, Challenger on the ready and in the box at the Cape an hour later.

David W. said...

I'm pretty sure it will be 9/11. I remember what happened to me that day. I was in 3rd grade and a bunch of kids got taken out of school and teachers were crying and there really wasn't a class time. I didn't find out what happened until I got home and my mom explained it to me and it took me a good two or three days to finally understand it wasn't an accident but it was an attack just because people hated us. Once I accepted that I freaked out but my dad calmed me down when he went over the whole "what's most likely to be attacked" in America and small-town Ohio is very very low on that list so I wasn't worried about explosions killing me in my sleep. Which is always nice.

Oh then anthrax scares started and that freaked me out again.

Anonymous said...

Vividly...this tragedy happened on my 26th birthday...a half-life + one year ago. As I grew up with the space race, etc...it was a bad day for me.
I remember a friend at work who made a birthday card for me. She brought a little joy to that dark day.

Scott B.

Wolfman said...

I was a college freshman in Bozeman MT when 9/11 happened. Made it to my first class, only to be sent back to my dorm. By the time I got back, there were tvs pulled out evertwhere. I rode the elevator to my room and watched the towers fall. But that was 11 years ago and more- kids who get to vote for the first time this fall won't recall the day any more than I recall the Challenger. Who knows what will burn into their minds? I just hope it isn't the next shot heard round the world...

Wolfman said...

OK, so they won't vote this fall... Its not an election year. Civics FAIL...

eiaftinfo said...

Sitting on the floor of a power plan installing a new fiber network . . . . sitting in government class for Kennedy . . . . 9/11 will be the biggie for the current generation - sitting at my office watching in sheer disbelief as the 2nd tower came down . . . .

Let's hope things get "smaller" in the coming years.

JD Rush said...

I was in 5th grade. For whatever reason, I was not with my class, but with the teachers in the library when it happened. It, in particular, rocked my teacher hard. I was sent to tell my class what had happened. I'm not a particularly untrustworthy person, but not one kid in my class believed a word I said until they say my teacher bawling in our classroom.

acairfearann said...

Where were you when...? 9/11 without question.

But I'd have to say that Oklahoma City also springs to mind, as does Columbine (I was in a highschool already on edge due to repeated bomb threats) for those moments when you can see the silence and the changing world on the faces around you.

In happy news, the North Ireland Peace Agreement and, just barely, the fall of a certain wall.

Andie said...

Challenger: Senior year, history class just after lunch, my teacher arrived in tears. You could have heard a pin drop when she told us, and the silence remained as we watched the coverage...

Desert Storm

Mogadishu (Black Hawk Down)

OK City: at work, my boss came back from getting lunch and turned on the stereo for the main office. We all listened in horror as the details unfolded...

Columbine: Day before my birthday, listened on headphones while on the train and watched disbelief crawl across normally stoic faces as my travel companions listened, too.

9/11: home alone, flipped past MSNBC and heard the initial (and confusing) reports of the North Tower hit, South Tower hit, and Pentagon. Watched with tears streaming down my face as information developed and the imagers burned into me. On the 10th anniversary, I posted this on my FB status: "Remembering... praying for all those lost, or who lost someone. Wishing it will not happen again, and knowing enough to not say "Never"... but hoping."

Shock and Awe

I sincerely hope that this generation remembers more than just the "tabloid" crap that overwhelms every media outlet these days, but as I grow more cynical with age, I doubt it.

Jamie said...

Unfortunately, there are too many Americans who are already forgetting 9/11 (look up those who question why we're in Afghanistan).

Pakkinpoppa said...

Challenger.
I was in my (elementary) school library watching with quite a few of the students, and being in the 3rd grade at the time...well, they shut the TV off pretty fast and we headed back to class, kind of confused as to what was going on.

9/11
Making a delivery for work, in my personal vehicle, when the lady of the house announced the second tower had been hit (and, me having been listening to a CD since my tape deck had eaten the cassette adapter so....the radio was only useful as a set of speakers at that time) I had no awareness of it until that exact moment. I remember what I did, but as we didn't have Concealed Carry at that moment, I can't say what it was.

Mogadishu
Until I saw the movie Blackhawk Down, I really didn't know much about that other than we went to Somalia, and didn't go to Rwanda for the exact same thing, and that there was similar strife in Yugoslavia that we really focused upon.

I want to know why we're still in Afghanistan if we're just letting our troops be targets...unless that's the goal.

Laura said...

the day the shuttle exploded was the same day my church burned. we got a day off from school. it was a weird day for this then-Kindergartener.