As I was growing up, the generations prior to mine knew that amongst them everybody knew exactly where they were when they heard that President Kennedy had been shot. Our version of that today is probably the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
There are those moments we never forget:
My mother-in-law called our house to tell us planes were crashing into buildings and to turn on the TV. As the TV came on I had to stare for a few moments before realizing that I was looking at only one of the Twin Towers and that the other was not shrouded in smoke, it was gone. GONE. Having been there numerous times, including up on the walkway that went around the perimeter or Tower 2 and walking across the floor of one of the exchanges that was housed there, I was stunned in disbelief.
I was walking into Mrs. Gulley’s Earth Space Science class at Pike High School and plopped down in my chair. We were supposed to watch a video that day but the TV was on to the news. Generally the first one to class, for the first few moments I sat alone watching the endless replay of the Challenger exploding. Mrs. Gulley was one of the early recipients of a teaching award named after Christa McAuliffe.
I was home with my then 6-month old daughter laying in front of the TV waiting to watch the shuttle Columbia land. It never did. As soon as it got to be a minute or so late showing up I knew what had happened. Elizabeth was too young to hear me tell her "we lost another one."