Saturday, January 29, 2011

Where Were You?

There are certain events in history that trigger the question, "Where were you?" The question is asked in relation to hearing the news that something terrible has happened. For my grandparents' generation, the question can pertain to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. For my parents' generation, it can mean the assassination of JFK. For me, I can think of two such events: 9/11 and the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle.

Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the Challenger disaster. And this was the question that my assistant manager at work asked us all. He and I are close in age, so our answers were similar. We were in school, watching the launch live on CNN. Students in classes across the country were watching as the Challenger lifted off because, for the first time, a civilian, a teacher, was being taken into orbit. I was in kindergarten, so I honestly don't remember much in regards to my reaction or the reactions of the kids and teachers around me. I remember shock. And I remember not understanding what we had seen.

So, if you're old enough to remember, where were you?


  1. I was in the 1st grade - it was lunch time and I was sitting in the Fallon Park Elementary School Cafeteria opening my milk. The teachers had wheeled out TVs on stands all around the cafeteria for the students to watch and then everything was confusing.......

  2. I was in the 5th grade and we were watching on tv as well. I remember being all excited waiting for the big moment. My classroom was full of chatter as we eagerly waited for the launch. Then as quick as it started, it ended. I remember complete silence except from the sound of the gasp and crying of our teacher as we watched the tv trying to make sense of what we had just seen. We talked about it for weeks after at the lunch table.

  3. i was in the 2nd grade.

    watched it, saw it happen, then got even more confused as the teacher scrambled to turn off the tv.

    that's really all i remember.

    for 9/11 i was sitting at my producer's desk watching the AP feed trying to figure out what was going on with the burning building.

    then i looked up and every tv in my newsroom switched to the feed at the same time. and we all stood there and watched the second plane ram into the tower. someone said that's a terrorist attack and then the phones went crazy.

    i stayed at the station the entire day and took crazy calls from parents who were wondering if their children were safe at school and if the mall was going to be attacked.

    j "it was a stressful day" h