Add Your Voice to History

9-11 remembered

Today marks the 16th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center. Who can forget?

I heard it on the radio as I drove to a  meeting. At first I thought it was a retrospective of some old show like War of the Worlds. But no. It was real. We cut our anxiety-filled meeting short to dash home to the news. I sat near the TV with my laptop for days, getting news on both channels while my thoughts and guts churned.

That’s thumbnail account does little to convey the emotional impact of the day and season, but it does note my involvement and hint at the event’s impact on me.

Where were you? How did you hear? What did you do, think and feel? Write it down!

Don’t stop there. What other significant historical events directly affected you? My short list includes

  • Sputnik launch
  • JFK’s assassination
  • Great Northeast Blackout of November 1965
  • Airline strike, 1966
  • USA moon landing
  • Total solar eclipse, 1979 and 2017
  • Mt. St. Helen’s eruption
  • Desert Storm bombing begins
  • 9/11/01
  • Hurricane Harvey

I’ve already written those stories. I wrote them to let my descendants know I was there and how they affected me. I want to make the events real in a personal way, to let younger generations know history is a collection of dots that live in people’s guts. Perhaps one day I’ll expand on those stories, including detailed description and my perspective over time, and tie them together into a coherent memoir (probably mini). Or maybe not. Loose short stories are valuable in their own right.

So where were you when Big Things happened? How did they affect you at the time and now? Tell the future. Make history more than two paragraphs in a text book!

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