It seems like the big question this past week was "where were you when you heard the news on September 11, 2001?"
Yes, I remember. I was sitting in my office with the radio on. I also remember my first thought. "I need to call friends in big cities to make sure they are ok." That was my first thought when it looked as though the attacks were headed for big cities after Washington DC and New York City. So I made calls to Philadelphia, Chicago just to check in.
But as I looked back on those events 8 years ago, I thought about other times in my life when I remember hearing news that changed the world.
I remembered where I was when I heard the news about the assassination of President Kennedy. I was sitting at Sandy Bank Elementary School in Media, PA wondering why the teachers had all been called to the office to leave the classes unmonitored.
I remembered where I was when I received the news that someone had shot Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I was in geometry class in junior high in Pennsgrove, NJ.
I remembered where I was when the Challenger exploded less than 90 seconds after takeoff. I was sitting in my Colorado office listening to my favorite radio station and changing the channel to an all news channel. I did stop to look across the office of the picture of the Space Shuttle taken at Edwards AFB, CA and as a tear came to my eyes, I remembered my former assignment with the Space Shuttle while in the Air Force and ached for those lives lost.
I remembered where I was when other newsworthy events that took place that have affected my life.
But I also remember days like my wedding day in November of 1978. The day of the birth of both of my sons also comes to mind, remembering all the events of those joyous events of those days. I remember driving down the interstate listening to the inauguration of the current president and getting a phone call that I was going to be a grandfather for the first time in a couple of hours.
This past Thursday, I began to wonder if remembering all of those events good or bad, worldwide tragedy or personal events, was the most important thing. Actually, maybe the question I should ponder is "how has my life changed because of those events?".
The changes that the Secret Service has made in guarding dignitaries are well documented. NASA has made huge changes when it comes to space launches in colder weather.
My life would never be the same after getting married, or having children. Experiencing four grandchildren being born minutes apart and being able to call my son by the name that he calls me, dad, was (as the ad says) priceless.
All of these events have caused me to be in awe of the world we live in. they have also called me to re-examine my relationship with the creator of the universe, my family and my friends. They have affected me greatly. I am the person I am today because of the experiences in my life.
And you are the person you are because of the life experiences you have had over your lifetime. For most of these events or world newsworthy happenings, our world has changed.
Let us hope and pray, no matter the event, the world is a better place and her people are better human beings because of what we have learned. Sometimes I wonder. Most of the time, I just pray.