Friday, November 23, 2012

Memorable Days

Yesterday I got up to fix the Thanksgiving meal for my beloved husband Terry. I'd been up more than an hour when I remembered what the historical date meant for me.

Every generation has a day in history it will never forget. For the Greatest Generation, it might be Pearl Harbor Day, D-Day, the end of World War II. They can tell you where they were, what they were doing, when they heard the news.

The Baby Boomers can tell you what they were doing on November 22, 1963 when they heard that President Kennedy had been assassinated.

Later generations have their memorable dates as well. The day the space shuttle Challenger exploded. 9/11.

Every year since 1963, I would wake up and remember what happened and where I was. This year was the first time I didn't think about the assassination the second my feet hit the floor. I felt a pang of guilt. Had the events of the day ceased to be important, to have an impact on me? I don't think so, but time has a way of replacing historical dates with personal dates. Our private dates are those we hold closest to the heart.

The day we met our spouses (spice? What is the plural of spouse, anyway?). Our anniversary. The day children were born. Graduations, more weddings, grandchildren, all become more important and push the historical dates aside.

I heard the first reminder of what November 22 meant at a news break at halftime in the third football game. Now, I didn't have television tuned to news channels at all, so there might have been earlier mentions. I doubt it. As time has passed, more people alive today were born after 1963 than before. For them, the assassination wasn't a current event but a historical one. For those of us who remember, it forms part of the fabric of our memories.

Yesterday my husband and I added another personal memory to that fabric. We plan to continue adding more memories with each passing day. To you and yours, remember your memories, personal and historical. They make you, you.

1 comment:

Brenda Marroy said...

You are so right, Betsy. I will always remember where I was when I heard the news of the assassination and the details of the days following.
However, like you, it is not the first thing on my mind on Nov. 22. It usually takes me visually seeing the date somewhere before it hits me what happened on that date.
Sounds like you had a great Thanksgiving. We did too. Very quiet with good food, good cocktails, and the coup de grace, watching the Redskins beat the Cowboys.
Love and hugs, Brenda