We each have those moments that live in our mind forever.
- JFK was shot on November 23, 1963. I was seven and must have been in school. My main recollection is a picture of the TV console that my mother took that day. Of course, the TV pictures doesn’t show, but we instinctively know what the image would have been.
- The Space Shuttle Challenger crashed on January 28, 1986. (I don’t recall why, but I went to a friend’s house on a work day for lunch and we watched it together.)
- The World Trade Center was attacked on September 11, 2001. (I had just gotten out of the shower and was sitting on the edge of my bed watching the horror on the Today Show.)
One other image that stands out is where I was when we heard that Elvis had died on August 16, 1977. I had graduated college in June of that year, and two friends and I spent August in Europe. As starving students, we stayed in youth hostels, carried our own luggage, bought a Eurailpass for next-to-no-money, and traveled by train through England, Italy, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
On that day in mid-August, I recall sitting on the floor of the train station in Amsterdam, on our way to somewhere else, when we saw a newspaper headline about Elvis passing away. Shocking news, to be sure, and we felt kind of weird to be that far away from such tragic news. Of course, nowadays, we would have heard the news instantly via Twitter or Facebook. But back then, we had to wait for the newspaper to give us our news.
Elvis gave his last concert on June 26, 1977. My friend Marcy had tickets to an Elvis concert to take place in New York in the fall of 1977. I think she might physically still have those tickets. I wonder if they’re worth any money.