Wednesday, November 5, 2008

One For The History Books

This isn't the first time I've lived through a moment of historical significance.

I was a baby when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. As I was a baby, I don't have any true recollection of this, but my mother has recounted the story enough times for me to know I was at the pediatricians office wearing a yellow dress.

I clearly remember the day the Vietnam War ended. My mother hugged my sister and I and told us it was the first day in our lives that our nation was at peace and that we should be grateful. We didn't quite grasp the fullness of that statement at the time, but we were grateful. Obviously it had some impact, since the moment is such a salient memory for me so many years later.

I remember watching the first moon landing on TV. I was at my Aunt Jennie's house. I remember going outside to look at the moon to see if I couldn't see that flag I'd just watched the astronauts plant on it. (I couldn't, and was very disappointed.)

I remember the day of the 1977 Johnstown Flood. Although more localized history, it still had that feeling. I knew I was living through something important.

And who of us can forget where we were or what we were doing when that first plane hit the Twin Towers on 9/11?

And here we are - collectively living through a moment that will be highlighted in the history books of our children's children. It is almost surreal. President Elect Barack Obama. I am so hopeful - so pleased.

A couple years ago I was visiting a friend in Pennsylvania. When our bartender found out I was from Ohio, she said to me, "Ohio? Thanks for ruining my LIFE in the last election." I assured her that I had stood in the rain in the dark at 6 am with my kids in tow (to see democracy in action) just to try NOT to ruin her life, but that it hadn't gone very well. I want to find my way back to that bar today so I can proudly proclaim, "I'm from OHIO!" Maybe she'd buy me a shot.

I am so very excited to watch this play out over the next several years.

So take a moment and raise that virtual shot glass with me: To change!

2 comments:

Bass Is Life said...

This is indeed exciting. I'm guessing he'll be held to a closer scrutiny than past presidents. I hope he's up for the challenge.

Other historical moments:
Nixon's resignation
Reagan's attempted assassination
Space Shuttle Challenger disaster
The disastrous Bush/Cheney administration

Tammy said...

I actually had the first 3 you mentioned in my original post, then deleted them because it was coming across too darn negative and I didn't want to draw from too many negative (particularly political) examples.

Embarrassingly enough, I don't remember where I was when Nixon made his resignation speech. I remember the era well (I was pissed that so much TV was pre-empted) but I don't remember the actual speech being delivered live.

For the Reagan assassination attempt I was in the hall in the Science building at IUP on my way to class. A professor came out in the halls and announced it. I went to class anyway, and that professor sent us home.

That was the same year John Lennon was assassinated, no? Sure do remember where I was when I heard about that...

You sure know my Challenger story - teaching elementary school and had my whole class of second graders gathered around the TV to watch "history being made". Ahem. I'll never forget one little guy clinging to my leg the rest of that day - week, really - begging me to not go into space, even if they asked. Yeah, not likely to forget that day...

As for the last one you mention, yeah, that's likely to hit the history books, too.