'I remember exactly what I was doing on the day that ... '

Tuesday, March 9, 2004

"I remember what I was doing the day that Kennedy was shot."

I have heard this phrase many times. My parents' generation witnessed this event along with others. They witnessed the death of Elvis, the Watergate scandal, the first man on the moon, Apollo 13, and numerous others. When talking about these events parents remember every detail of the day as if it happened yesterday.

My generation has also witnessed events that have changed the world, and ourselves. We are fortunate to have witnessed these unfortunate events, and be a part of these historic moments. My generation has witnessed the death of the "people's princess" -- Princess Diana, the Gulf War, Sept. 11, 2001, the capturing of Saddam Hussein, the war against terrorism, the Iraqi War, the explosion of the Columbia space shuttle, the impeachment of President Clinton and the controversy of the 2000 presidential election.

I can remember talking to my parents and asking them if they remember President Kennedy being shot. They can remember every detail of when they heard it and what they saw. They tell me that they will always be able to remember exactly what they were doing. Or, going back another generation, when I would ask my grandparents about Pearl Harbor, they would tell me every detail of what they remember. That's really something, since often they can't remember where they put their glasses, only to discover them on top of their head.

I know that I will never forget what I was doing on Sept. 11, 2001. I can remember sitting in class and turning on the TV and staring with horror at the screen as the events of that day unfolded. I can also remember what I was doing when I heard that Princess Diana died. I can remember thinking that it was a joke until I woke up the next morning and heard it on the news again.

When events like these happen, we never think that we will be able to remember what we were thinking or feeling, we don't think at all. It is not until later that we think about what actually happened.

My generation has witnessed so much. We have been changed by these events in many ways. We have become more thankful for our families, grateful of our everyday freedoms, and have learned not to take for granted what we have.

When we think back on these events we see what is truly important. And what we now see as important now was not so important just a short time ago. Although we are still very young, we have seen so much, and this may be nothing compared to what we may still see.

It is funny to think about how someday the events that I have seen will be in history books. We are fortunate to have these memories, even though we might not want to remember the things that we saw. We are lucky to have been part of historic moments such as these. I know that someday when my children ask me if I remember Sept. 11, I will be able to say "I remember exactly what I was doing ..."

Caitlen Dunny is a student at Jackson High School.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: