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Old 11-22-2010, 08:17 AM   #1
stripperguy
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Defining moments

Each generation has it's defining moments, specifically, an occurence so earth shattering that all who lived through them can recall every detail of the delivery of the news.

For my grandparents, it was the market crash of '29.

For my parents, it was Pearl harbor.

For some boomers, it was the assasinatition of Kennedy.

For everyone else, it was 9-11.


I was in my 2nd grade class when I heard that Kennedy had been shot, didn't understand the importance of the moment...I remeber my teacher crying.

I was at work on 9-11, my wife was heading to NYC with her sisters that day to go to a Yankees game, we still have the tickets....


Where were you on these days?
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:52 AM   #2
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not to criticize, but you forgot the challenger disaster for some late boomers/early Xers... january 28th, 1986. I was 21 yrs old, had just returned to college from christmas break, and was walking into the library. normally there's a little bit of a buzz at the door, due to the reading room being right there. this time, it was crowded, dead silent, and every eye was glued to the TV, watching it happened again and again...

this was a generation that had lived through the carter years, the economy was recovering, and you were proud to be american again under president reagan... the return to space was as important to my generation as the moon shot had been to the previous one... we were starting to challenge the soviets on several fronts again, and eventually it brought down the wall and freed millions from communism... heady times.

on 9/11, I was in an unemployment office. a friend called, crying, and told me to get to a TV. as a direct result of the wars, i ended up back in the defense industry, where i remain.
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:34 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by stripperguy View Post
Each generation has it's defining moments, specifically, an occurence so earth shattering that all who lived through them can recall every detail of the delivery of the news.

For some boomers, it was the assasinatition of Kennedy.

For everyone else, it was 9-11.

Where were you on these days?
Kennedy assassination: I had just finished my piano audition for college, went downstairs and a fellow prospective student said Kennedy had been shot. I didn't believe him for the 30 seconds it took me to get to the main lobby, which was crammed with shocked people, many crying, and listening to a radio broadcast.

9-11: I was home sick with one of my sons and saw the early moments of the planes hitting the towers on TV.

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Old 11-22-2010, 10:10 AM   #4
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Kennedy, 47 years ago today - I was watching a school play (I don't remember the name) in the auditorium, in which my older cousin was playing the president. He happens to have an uncanny resemblance to President Kennedy, which people still remark about. It was too weird and spooky for everyone. The cast learned of the assassination, but the show played on until the end when the rest of us learned of the event. People were crying and we were all sent home.

Moon landing 1969 - I begged my parents to get our first color TV to watch the launch. Of course the lander's camera on the moon was very low quality B/W, but at least Walter Cronkite was in color.

Challenger disaster 1986 - I was in a meeting at a site near Boston, discussing large space telescopes including the Hubble. The launch of the Hubble was delayed several years due to the disaster.

9-11 - I was in a meeting as part of an engineering team to evaluate concepts for a global space based radar system.
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:18 AM   #5
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I was in 5th grade for the Challenger disaster.

9/11 was my fifth day teaching in a new district. That was odd- kids I barely knew asking me if their family members working in the city were ok, talking them through the day.
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:23 AM   #6
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Pearl Harbor was 39 days before I was born.

On Nov 22, 1963 I was on a mission with my team as an "advisor" in SE Asia. Didn't hear about it until we got back about a week later.

On 911 I was on my way to work when we got news of the first plane hitting the tower. I thought, that can't be an accident and a short time later we heard the reporter say "My God, a second plane just hit the World trade Center"

Another defining moment was the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968. I was in Home on leave when they happened and they recalled us" in case there was trouble". Fortunately our team was never deployed to handle rioters.

In 1948 I was six years old when another man of peace and social change was assassinated. We had just moved East from the Rez in SD to Norwich, CT. I didn't understand any English at the time, but my Mother told me about a Holy Man in India who had been killed. Hard to digest today that it led to the partitioning of India into two countries, India and Pakistan and that 50 years later American Troops are helping to defend that country.

Does anyone find it disturbing that people who stood for freedom, social change and charity were all murdered? Martin Luther King, Mahatma Ghandi, Abraham Lincoln, Jesus Christ?

Hawk
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:02 AM   #7
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I don't think I agree with the premise, that these "occurence(s) so earth shattering that all who lived through them can recall every detail of the delivery of the news", define our generations. They're important, memorable, tragic, or whatever, but I'm not sure how they define the generations. I'm struck by the hugely negative images and feelings that arise from all of the events mentioned thus far, save the first moon landing.

This may be a bit off topic, as it's more a personal defining moment than one that would define a generation. The first thing that comes to mind for me and the single moment in my life that has had the greatest impact my life since that moment, was that Tuesday evening in October 1977 when that beautiful 18 year old girl, who later became my wife, first looked me in the eye and called me by my name.
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Old 11-22-2010, 05:31 PM   #8
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I was only 4 for the moon landing so unfortunately I have no recollection of the event.

I was 22 during the Challenger disaster and like most watched it unfold on television.

9/11 - I was working in Washington, DC and heard that the first tower was hit, but it wasn't until the second one was hit that I knew it wasn't an accident. It wasn't long after that we heard about the Pentagon and lost all communincation in our building. We were evacuated and it was sheer chaos. I had driven in to town that day and it took me 5 hours to get out of the city as everyone was trying drastically to get out.
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:14 PM   #9
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I was 6 when Challenger exploded. I didn't see it happen, but apparently most of the older students in the school were watching live. I seem to think the teachers were more freaked out than the students. Most of the students were so used to seeing explosions on television that they didn't even realize it was real.

I was a senior in college when 9-11 happened. I distinctly remember watching it fall, in a large room full of people. As the first tower fell, we all reached out our hands as if to try to catch it. The whole room, in unison. I remember dead silence after that.
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA Ridgerunner View Post
I don't think I agree with the premise, that these "occurence(s) so earth shattering that all who lived through them can recall every detail of the delivery of the news", define our generations. They're important, memorable, tragic, or whatever, but I'm not sure how they define the generations. I'm struck by the hugely negative images and feelings that arise from all of the events mentioned thus far, save the first moon landing.

This may be a bit off topic, as it's more a personal defining moment than one that would define a generation. The first thing that comes to mind for me and the single moment in my life that has had the greatest impact my life since that moment, was that Tuesday evening in October 1977 when that beautiful 18 year old girl, who later became my wife, first looked me in the eye and called me by my name.
PA Ridgerunner,
Perhaps I should have used the word polarize, as in polarizing moments. If you read very carefully, I said everyone can remember these defining moments...not that those moments defined the generation.



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I was 6 when Challenger exploded. I didn't see it happen, but apparently most of the older students in the school were watching live. I seem to think the teachers were more freaked out than the students. Most of the students were so used to seeing explosions on television that they didn't even realize it was real.

I was a senior in college when 9-11 happened. I distinctly remember watching it fall, in a large room full of people. As the first tower fell, we all reached out our hands as if to try to catch it. The whole room, in unison. I remember dead silence after that.
hobbitling,
This is exactly what I mean, you, and everyone else, can remember in acute detail the mood, location, particular situation, when the events unfolded...
Everyone has a common denominator, whether tragic (9-11) or joyous (moon landing).
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:11 PM   #11
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... apparently most of the older students in the school were watching live. I seem to think the teachers were more freaked out than the students. Most of the students were so used to seeing explosions on television that they didn't even realize it was real.
the first teacher in space, Christa McAuliffe, was on board... it was a huge deal.
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:32 PM   #12
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Wow, strong recollections of troubling times. Each one brings back memories, some sad some not so sad. Most significant for me, to name a few, would be when MLK Jr was assassinated. I recall the news and all of the rioting, made a lasting impact on me and my views towards racism & equality.

I was 8 when I got to view the moon landing live at my parents friends home.

On 9-11 I was at my office when a co-worker came in and told me the 1st plane had hit. Thinking it was a terrible accident I went back to work. Moments later he returned to tell me a 2nd plane hit the towers and we knew @ that point this was something serious. A short time later many of us had gathered in a conference room to watch the television we had stored there, for some unknown reason, and I witnessed both towers falling. Man that day sucked.
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:40 PM   #13
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One of my defining moments was hearing the She Loves You by the Beatles for the first time. I was 6 or 7 years old.
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:45 PM   #14
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One of my defining moments was hearing the She Loves You by the Beatles for the first time. I was 6 or 7 years old.
Funny, but that's exactly what was running through my mind during the encounter with Fran that I mentioned above...or maybe it was Aerosmith's "Dream On."
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:09 PM   #15
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I think my reaction to the Moon Landing was, "Oh no, now we're going to screw that up too"

Hawk
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:12 PM   #16
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Neil,

Were you born and raised in Canada?
I know very little of modern Canadian history...
Were there any Canadian polarizing moments? Events so large that you all could define their unifying experiences?
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:33 AM   #17
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9/11 - I was working at the Patent Office in Crystal City, VA. I actually heard about the first plane hitting on the drive into work. Sometime that morning everyone started running out of the building and I heard that the Pentagon was hit. You could see the smoke rising, as it was only a few blocks away. Outside is was fairly crazy, all roads leading North were closed, fighter jets were flying overhead. I walked over to the Pentagon and saw smoke billowing up and out of it. Some military guys were walking around and handing out water, but you could not get too close.

I went back to my office and hunkered down as no one was going anywhere fast. National Airport was close by and many stranded travellers walked by my office and asked to use the phone. My father-in-law was enroute to the Pentagon but had to hop off his shuttle. He walked over to my office as well. About 4 PM we hopped in the car and headed due south to the beltway, then drove home which was right at the top of the beltway.

I do remember that the whole area reeked for many days after that, probably due to the jet fuel and building materials burning.
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:58 AM   #18
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Were you born and raised in Canada?
Yes
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I know very little of modern Canadian history...
That because there isn't any.
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Were there any Canadian polarizing moments?
Quebec Referendums for separation.
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Events so large that you all could define their unifying experiences?
The October crisis: kidnapping and murder of Pierre Laporte, Vice-Premier and Minister of Labour of the province of Quebec by French Canadian terrorists and the implementaion of the War Measures Act in 1970.

(The Kenedy assassination was huge in Canada.)
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:22 AM   #19
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Does anyone find it disturbing that people who stood for freedom, social change and charity were all murdered? Martin Luther King, Mahatma Ghandi, Abraham Lincoln, Jesus Christ?

Hawk
Disturbing; absolutely. Surprising? Unfortunately; no. I'd love to say more, but every time I start to type, I get too worked up and my brain won't keep stuff straight...

I had to do some calculating to figure out: like Hilltop Harrier, I was also in 5th grade when the Challenger exploded. I remember being all assembled somewhere in school watching it, and the silence in the room when it broke up and the boosters shot off in two directions, like horns from a gemsbok. It was so sad and surreal.

On 9/11, I was at work, someone came running into my lab and said that a plane had hit one of the towers of the world trade center, and I immediately thought "Oh no, it's terrorists. What's happening now?" We had the radio going a minute later and not long after heard the report of the second plane hitting. There were a couple of televisions going in the cafeteria by that time also, so people just started to gather and watch and pray.
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:24 AM   #20
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I too can remember where I was when all of those events happened.
After 9/11 I remember all of the Full Dress funerals on Staten Island for the Firefighters who gave their lives to save others. The streets around the churches were packed with people and Firefighter from other communities.
What really made it it home hard tho, was the smell,like a dump fire, when the winds were right. That lasted for weeks after...all that plastic and human remains cooking off...
I was lucky that I didn't loose anyone close, but I can't count how many friends lost loved ones.
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