I generally try to keep this blog WoW (and specifically, hunter) related but I have been tagged by one Lassirra to participate in a "Where Were You When..." meme. So without further ado:
September 11 Attacks
September 11, 2001: I was getting a ride to school (I was a senior in high school at the time) from some acquaintances and they were flipping through radio stations. I heard for the space of about two seconds something about airplanes crashing into a tower, which startled me, but they kept flipping through those stations and I soon forgot about it.
Then I walked into school and knew something was different... kids were huddled around in small groups talking in hushed tones. I caught up to my group of friends and was quickly told the news: airplanes had crashed into both the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. On top of that there were about a million other rumors going around: there was a car bomb on Capitol Hill, there was a bomb on the Statue of Liberty, etc.
I really can't remember my reaction other than the fact that I felt really bad when one of my most cheerful friends came up to us all bright-eyed and asked what was up. I felt bad because we had to be the ones to tell him that the world had turned upside down.
At 8:28 AM I went into A.P. Art, my first period class-- CNN was on TV-- and the very moment I sat into my chair the second tower collapsed, live. That was... surreal.
That entire day we did very little in each of my classes; in every single class we either watched CNN or had discussions about what was going on. Well-- almost every class. Spanish class we did vocab.
One year to the date after it happened I wrote up a little document for myself so as not to forget some of the details of the previous year. Here's an excerpt:
At first, when no one really knew what was going on, people were clamoring to compare it to something. Oklahoma City, they said. Then they knew it was bigger than that, much, much bigger. So they changed it. It was like Pearl Harbor.
Then they said it was even worse than Pearl Harbor, for several reasons.
At about this same time, people were wondering what to call it. The news channels on TV said, simply, “AMERICA ATTACKED” in big, bold, defiant letters. Sometimes they were called “The Terrorist Attacks on Tuesday,” or “The Terrorist Attacks on September the Eleventh.”
But it really wasn’t called anything. So people drew on Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor was the day that would live in infamy. So this became “The Other Day that would live in Infamy.”
President Bush gave a speech that night. His main quote was “We will draw no distinction between those who carried out the attacks and those who harbor them.” It was a strong quote, but it offered no material to name “it,” as Roosevelt’s speech had done with Pearl Harbor.
A week went by and life was not normal. It would never return to normal, of course. So it became “The Week that would live in Infamy.”
Then, it was “The Month that would live in Infamy.”
Then, it was “The Year that would live in Infamy.”
And, finally, it wasn’t named after this quote from Pearl Harbor. It wasn’t named “World Trade Center” or “Pentagon.” It was given two names.
September 11; and, 9/11.
It wasn’t “nine-one-one” like everyone thought it would be at first. No. Nine-one-one is still associated with who you call if there is a fire in the building. This was different. This was “nine-eleven.”
From that point on, no one could get through the date of “11” without bringing it up. The months ending in “-ember” were worst. November 11. December 11. It sent eerily familiar chills up peoples’ backs; sent an ugly jolt of memories back to some obscure fragment of the brain...
Surreal to read that. I'm glad I chose to write it up. Solemn times, indeed.
Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster
January 28, 1986: I was two years old. I seem to have this vague, vague memory of sitting on the living room floor watching something about a space shuttle on TV and wondering when I could watch Sesame Street instead, but I dunno, maybe that's a false memory my mind conjured up.
August 29, 2005: I don't really remember what exactly I was doing when I first heard about this, but I do remember the aftermath; reading the newspaper in shock in the breakroom at Target (where I worked at the time). Oh wait, LiveJournal to the rescue:
Sep. 1st, 2005 at 11:00 PM
This whole Hurricane Katrina thing is just plain surreal. A major city wiped out (or very nearly so), pure chaos, no food or water, people getting raped and/or shot at, corpses in the streets...
You think "Wait, this is America. This type of thing doesn't happen in America, except in movies."
But look, apparently, it does happen in America. It's happening right now, and it could've happened to any city or town in the country, or in the world for that matter. If not by a hurricane, than by something else.
Yellowstone National Park is really just one giant volcano, if it were to blow right now I'd never know because I'd be dead so quick.
That last word really defines it all for me I think; it was just this this big feeling of "unrealness".
Reagan Assassination Attempt
March 30, 1981: Erm... I wasn't born yet.
John Lennon’s Death
December 8, 1980: See above answer.
Kurt Cobain’s Death
April 5, 1994: This would've made me about ten years old I think. In all honesty I had no idea who the guy was at the time and thus no idea this had happened. You gotta understand that I was the oldest child in my family so I had no older siblings who were going through a grunge rock phase, and my parents were both of the Early-Metallica generation and from what I can gather thought Nirvana was some sort of imposter anyway, so I didn't hear anything from them on the matter.
John F. Kennedy’s Assassination
November 22, 1963: Obviously I wasn't around for this, heck, I don't think my parents even remember this! I feel like a young'un.
Other Stuff That Wasn't On the Meme But I Remember Anyway:
Princess Diana's Death: I was in seventh grade. This was a big deal; my parents, siblings and I were watching the news until us kids had to go to bed and then my parents remained up long into the night.
OJ Simpson Trial: I was in sixth grade. I knew enough of what was going on to form my own coherent opinion that OJ was guilty as charged, only to have them come on the intercom at school to say that he'd been found innocent. Good times...
The Unabomber: Another thing that happened in sixth grade. See, this happened in Montana, which happens to be where I live (I ride a buffalo to work. ...ya know how many people believe me when I say that?) so this was a huge thing. News cameras all over the place.
Berlin Wall Coming Down: I was in kindergarten and the teacher was pointing out East and West Germany on a globe and telling us that they were now one big Germany and it was really historical. I didn't really understand what was going on but took her word for it. And then went to recess.
Gore/Bush Election and the Subsequent Infamous "Recounts": Even though I wasn't old enough to vote yet this was a pretty big deal at the time. Big enough that the next year we got all new history textbooks: "New! Includes the Gore/Bush Election!" and then September 11 happened a few weeks later. Ironic. This election also resulted in me deciding I didn't like the Electoral College, an issue which I have since waffled on (hey, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about "issues"! So when I actually do think about one it's a big deal! ;P)
World of Warcraft Release Date: "Huh, so my brother has this new game. He's a big cow named Dairygold. Oh look, he died, and now he's... a ghost? Huh. Weird. *goes back to Starcraft/Final Fantasy*" (Perhaps ironically enough, he does in fact still play a cow.)
Well, there you have it. Where Pike was and what she was doing when history was being made. I hope you enjoyed the interlude, I enjoyed writing it up and it was interesting to look back on some of the stuff that has happened. Makes me glad I've always been a writer and journalist, a lot of this is stuff I don't want to forget.
Have a great week and I'll see you next time when we get back down to hunter-business!