It was Nov. 22, 1963 and my grandmother was folding laundry when it happened. The CBS station interrupted the soap opera that she was watching at the time to broadcast that President John F. Kennedy had been shot in Dallas, Texas, during a visit.
She told me that the event was something that she would never forget in her lifetime, and like many of her generation who were alive in 1963 to hear that tragic news, they would never forget where they were and what they were doing.
For me it was the event that led to the death more nearly 3,000 people, killed by terrorists, on Sept. 11, 2001. If you were around at that time, and old enough to remember, and ask someone about that infamous date, they will have a story behind it.
For me I remember exactly where I was at, what I was doing, what the weather was like, what I ate for breakfast that morning, and who I talked to, right after hearing the news that the World Trade Center buildings and The Pentagon, were attacked.
And over the years, when the subject of what is known in America as “9/11” comes up, we all have our story to tell. I happened to be on a college campus when the event happened, but there were people like my grandmother, housewives working on household chores that heard it on the radio. There were people on business trips who were stranded because all flights were canceled after the attack.
Some people were too young to realize the implication of what exactly was going on, but knew something was awry because the adults were upset. Members of the older generation, who had lived through assassinations, world wars, and other strife in our county’s history, may have had a flashback of those aforementioned hard times when 9/11 happened.
And most of us who have a story of where we were, and what we were doing, know that the stories all get told when the mention of 9/11 comes up, and we share them. It’s part of our collective history as Americans and citizens of the world, to share these stories with one another.
Many of the stories I have heard were sad or scared reactions to the events of what was going on that day, but a lot of them too were hopeful, as people strung together to help their fellow neighbor grieve for the loss of our countrymen.
To help commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11 we are working on a special tribute section to be published in this newspaper on Sept. 8 that highlights the history of the incident. As part of that historical coverage, we are asking the public to submit their remembrances of where they were, and what they did and their reactions to 9/11 for publication.
Submissions can be up to 400 words and emailed to Editor Jason Ogden at firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to
P.O. Box 663,
Oscoda, MI 48750.
Please include your name and contact information (not for print) with the submission.
You are also welcome to drop off submissions at the Press office or the Iosco County News-Herald office in East Tawas. Deadline for submissions are Aug. 25.
Please help us share the history of 9/11 from the stories of our readers with the rest of the community.