- When John F. Kennedy was shot (November 22, 1963)
- When Mt. St. Helens erupted (May 18, 1980)
- When the space shuttle Challenger exploded (January 28, 1986)
- When the People's Liberation Army opened fire on the students and civilians at Tiananmen Square (June 4, 1989)
- When the 7.1 earthquake hit San Francisco (October 7, 1989)
- When the Berlin Wall fell (November 7, 1989)
- When the Gulf War began (January 16, 1991)
- When the first World Trade Center bombing happened (February 26, 1993)
- When OJ Simpson was chased in his White Bronco (June 17, 1994)
- When the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed (April 19, 1995)
- When Princess Di was killed (August 31, 1997)
- When Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold opened fire on their classmates at Columbine High School (April 20, 1999)
- When Bush was first announced President (November 7, 2000)
- When the 6.8 earthquake hit Nisqually, WA (February 28, 2001)
- When terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center (September 11, 2001)
- When Columbia disintegrated during re-entry over Texas. (February 1, 2003)
Not born yet. Parents were still in China. This would have been the era of food stamps, when my Dad was still an Engineer with the Ministry of Defense and my Mom was teaching.
No memory. Probably at my best friend's house because her grandmother babysat me afterschool until my parents got off work.
In Bob Armstrong's class. We were probably marking homework when I heard. We'd pass our workbooks to the person behind us and mark each other's. Len Reimer talked about this in Science but I didn't really connect with it. I was thinking, "So, fix the problem and try again. What's the big deal?" I think I'd learned by then that my opinions were "not quite right", "different" from other peoples', I should keep my mouth shut and thoughts to myself.
At the exact time it happened, I was probably in bed, sleeping. There's a 16 hour time difference.
I was old enough to know what was going on, but still too young to really understand the weight of the events. Half the students at my school were Chinese, so we all wore white shirts, black pants and black arm bands in the days and weeks after the incident. Part of it was the cool and belonging factor, but I was also cognizant that this wasn't just any fad because my parents jumped on board right away and helped me get an arm band.
I have no memory of this. This wouldn't have been the one I heard about that damaged Nichelle Nichols' house really badly. I think that was the next SF earthquake.
No memory. I was probably studying for a Science test or trying to write a stupid comparison essay on Kate/Petruchio and Bianca/Whatshisface from "The Taming of the Shrew" for English, that I would have gotten a C- on anyway.
In Fiorella Haywood's French 11 class when a bunch of students went through the halls shouting some kind of protest slogan — something like "Canada out of the Gulf". We kinda just raised our eyebrows and went back to analyzing the "avoir besoin de" construct with the "j'ai besoin d'une feuille de papier" example.
In English 12 with Judy Sommers the following year, we were reading Orwell's "1984" and doing something on Doublespeak. Sommers gave us all kinds of Gulf vocabulary and examples of how doublespeak is used... "we're running a Negative Deficit." Yes, I'm sure you are, now fork over my tax refund =\
In a zombified daze trying to get through first year University. Chemistry was going a LOT better in the second term, I was pulling an A(!); Physics was okay, but not so hot after a totally on-fire first term; Integral Calculus was starting to whoop my ass; English was actually going well and Economics hadn't quite gotten too disasterous yet.
I have no memory of this because I wasn't watching much TV anymore by then. I do remember the day (or two) after, Husband Guy and I met my Internet friend JRB and her Aunt in Vancouver for lunch. They were talking about how they were so sick of seeing it. I had no idea who OJ was and why it was such a big deal until they told me. I was in puzzlement over "he's a football player?... and I care because?" And their response was, "EXACTLY!". =)
I had logged in that morning before heading off to class and saw a frantic e-mail from Cathy D. from one of my mailing lists saying, to the effect of "OMGOMG! The Federal Building was just bombed AND THERE'S A DAYCARE!!!"
I was in a warehouse in Burnaby, BC assembling and packaging bath bombs. A bunch of us from my volunteer group were doing this on the Sunday afternoon for a friend. They had the radio on and it interrupted a Shania Twain song for the report. And it was every 2 minutes from there. My first thought then, was "the Royal Family has something to do with it". Call me crazy, but I still believe this.
I was one month into my first job at Ex-Work. I felt nothing but disdain for the school kids who bullied, abused and ostracized people like Eric and Dylan. I remember talking to a mailing list friend whose daughter, A, was in highschool in Colorado at the time. I don't know A personally, but I knew of her from talking to her Mom over the years and had seen pictures. She was a beautiful Baby Goth who was in much of the same type of crowd that Eric/Dylan were associated with. She asked her Mom to buy her a hoodie so that she wouldn't be persecuted or targetted at school in the aftermath of the shootings. I felt my stomach go *TWINGE* for a second.
From pebele's description of Littleton, CO, it sounds like it's perpetually "high school" there. People have no sense of tolerance for differences. Everyone looks the same, dresses the same (ie. Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue), acts the same. And if you're different, you are persecuted to no end.
It's as if everyone has Mental Coprolalia, a verbal version Tourette's Syndrome*. There is no discretionary control over what they think versus what they say. Most of us have the ability to use discretion to filter our thoughts and only say things that significantly contribute to the current conversation or situation, in a way that is socially acceptable, at appropriate times, etc. Those with this psychological/neurological condition will verbalize absolutely every single thought that goes through their mind, there's no shut-the-fuck-up about it whatsoever.
No memory, but I would have been working at the CRM Shop.
I was at work at the CRM Shop (Yaletown, Vancouver, BC) when our building wobbled like slow motion jello for a few seconds. Steve, my manager, who sat across from me looks up and says, "whoa, what was that?! I think that was an earthquake..."
I woke up to hear Buzz Bishop, Erin Davies and Amber Lee talking about it on Zed (our alarm is set to a local Random Noise station).
I was unemployed at the time and I spent that day online talking to friends about it. The phone network was down in New York, but for some, cable internet was still up. All day, I was offering to make long distance calls for friends in New York to their families, everywhere else in the US, to let them know that they were alive, how they were doing and what was going on. At one point, I had my friend's family on the phone and him on MSN Messenger. I typed in everything the family was saying into the MSN window and read my friend's responses back to them.
I made some really good friends during the September 11 incident and I also pulled away from some longtime good friends. I discovered just how unreasonable, irrational, bloodthirsty and blatantly racist some people really were when they were blinded by anger and obviously only seeing one side of the issue. It brought out things in them that I will not tolerate in friends. It was not "extenuating circumstance"; there is no excuse for it; I won't have friends like that.
Probably waking up as well or at work. Funny how my reaction was exactly the same as the Challenger explosion: "So, fix the problem and try again. What's the big deal?"