#SOLC18 30/31: Moments in Time

Recently I have been watching documentaries on 9/11. That day, along with many others in my lifetime are etched in my memory forever. Some are more deeply seeded in my mind, while others are events that may not have been life-impacting, but carried enough significance to remain in my memory.

The day Elvis Presley died I was in grade school.

The day Mt. St. Helens erupted in Washington, blowing enough ash into Montana that school was cancelled for a week. I was 12 years-old.

The day John Lennon was shot. This was the first assassination of a public figure I experienced.

The day the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded just after take-off. This was quite vivid, as I was living away from home for the first time in Washington, DC. I remember everyone was driving with their lights on in remembrance of the team who died.

The day of the Oklahoma City bombing. Little did I know this would not be the last such horrific bombing of a public building I would witness in my lifetime.

The day of the mass shooting at Columbine High School. This sort of horrific event was incomprehensible to me. Like the Oklahoma City bombing, I don’t think any of us could imagine this would not be the last of its kind.

The day Princess Diana died. So, so sad.

There were of course more historical events after this, many that carry great sadness. However, I can say that in my own life, the years after these tragic events occurred were filled with many of my happiest moments. Marriage, the birth of children, and all of life’s comings and goings while raising a family.

There is much to be celebrated in life, and much to be mourned. That is the balance of the life we live.



11 thoughts on “#SOLC18 30/31: Moments in Time

  1. carwilc says:

    It’s amazing how one moment in time can be so vivid. Some that stand out vividly for me- the day MLK was assassinated, the space shuttle, 9/11, Columbine, and the Aurora Theater shooting, which occurred in a theater my boys and I had frequented many times.


  2. I like the way you brought this back around to the good moments in life stretching out and around all of the other ones. Growing up, I remember all the grown-ups always talking about where they were when JFK was killed and how they always remembered that. I remember the earlier events that you talked about, but the first one that hit me as a scary and important moment was when President Reagan was shot. The first one that hit me really viscerally was the Challenger explosion. 9/11 was the one where it felt like the entire world was unravelling. Although I know where I was when I heard of almost all the others on your list, these are the ones that feel burned into me. But like you, I have lots of good memories woven around all of those other years.


    • Thanks for your comments—I really didn’t know where I was going with this post, and before long it just felt so sad, so I did my best to swing the emotion back around. I’m glad you picked up on that!


  3. Your post took me back in time. The Challenger explosion is one of the first of these events that I really remember and I found myself thinking of what I was doing during all of the subsequent events that you described. I may have to spend some time writing about those memories.


  4. It’s so heartwrenching to realize how moments like these define so much of our lives. The Challenger is the first event I remember, and though I was little and can’t recall the details, I remember how that day felt. Now my own children are little and I want to shield them from so many bad things that happen in our world, and I have to wonder what the first “event” will be that becomes etched forever in their memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. margaretsmn says:

    We can all relate to these tragic events that shape our generation. I was in one of my first years of teaching and we were watching the Challenger take off with a room full of first and second graders. Silence followed. We didn’t know what to say. I wish the happy events in our lives would leave as much of a legacy, but they don’t seem to. We have to make ourselves hang on to them.


  6. Alice Nine says:

    My husband and I were reminiscing about some milestone days at breakfast this morning… mostly good ones, personal ones, but then we were layering in the historic ones that they connected to… almost like a personal timeline. Remembering is good. Sometimes it makes the present seem better than we thought and the future not so daunting.


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