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You Show Your Age If You Remember…Posted Thursday, September 11, 2008, at 8:33 AM
Last week fellow Brazil Times blogger Kimberly Gleason reported two fascinating facts: That the first ATM went into operation on September 2 1969; and that she could not remember there never being an ATM available. Poor, sweet child. I don't remember the first time I used an ATM, but I do remember when there were none. Poor, broken-down old man.
The truth is we all show our age by what we remember as important, for example…
You're probably over 15 if you remember…
Waking up to hear Ron Mott on WAXI radio reporting on an airplane hitting the World Trade Center. Wasn't real sure where or what the World Trade Center was, we turned on the TV and found out. Watched most of the day. Somehow it seemed like a movie which should somehow end; it never did. Sorry, Ron, but your name will always remind me of September 11 2001.
You are probably over 25 if you remember…
Sitting glued to the TV, only slightly aware of your children asking whether we were going to Wednesday evening service. The liberation of Kuwait was underway; an enemy was engaged by a united force led by the American Army. Somewhere in that mess was my firstborn son. The United States Air Force in its infinite wisdom could only tell us where he was not -- he was not in Saudi Arabia. Were we going to church? The Army of our country had entered the field of battle; where else should we be but in church on February 21 1991.
You are probably over 35 if you remember…
Watching Peter Jennings, anchor for the ABC evening news, who just happened to be in Berlin on November 9 1989 when the story he was filming gave way to the fall of the Berlin Wall. For two-thirds of this writer's life the great devil of Communism was the enemy armed beyond comprehension with weapons of mass destruction; for over 50 years holding down freedom with an iron fist and savagery; threatening to enslave all free men who did not bend to the Communist line. All this brought down not by force of arms, but the weight of history always on the side of men who would be free.
You are probably over 45 if you remember…
Television reports of people being evacuated from the embassy roof at Saigon, Viet Nam on April 30 1975. After all the soaring political proclamations of pending victory; after all the waste, expenditure of treasure and carnage; after all the social unrest and protests, it came down to this: The insurgent enemies had won. Never again could it be said America had not lost a war.
You are probably over 55 if you remember…
Sitting at your desk of the St. Louis Police Department when someone listening to the FBI radio "chatter" looks up and says, "Sounds like somebody is shooting at the President in Dallas." What followed would be three days which seemed to stand still. The world watched as a new President was sworn in that same day, November 23 1963. And, for three days a world mourned as incredible pageantry of tragedy and drama unfolded.
And, you are probably older than you ever thought you would be if you remember…
Listening to the radio while the great man proclaimed, "Yesterday, December 7th, 1941, a day which will live in infamy…" If you can remember that day you are part of the generation which added more to the net value of life in America than all the ATM's combined.
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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