All eyes will be on Washington DC today. Schools are cutting class time to tune in. Different countries are devoting hours of airtime. And my boss even announced we'll have a television set up in our break room to sneak an occasional peek at the activities taking place. It's a huge day indeed.
I'm young enough I've only lived through four presidential inaugurations in my lifetime, but I don't think it matters how old a person is, I can still tell you this one is is getting the most hype by far. I bet the first woman president won't even grasp this much of a stir when she steps into office. I wonder, though, if today will make a "where were you" moments in history.
I can remember clearly where I was on 9/11 when I heard about the twin towers attack. My college campus. I hadn't even been married two months. I walked into my computer applications class, where the professor had the TV turned on. Smoke and fire covered the screen and announcers were talking so avidly no one made a whole lot of sense. I turned to a fellow classmate next to me, a complete stranger, and asked what had happened. "Haven't you heard?" he said and went on to spill it all. The professor, a native Irish woman, was too distraught to teach and dismissed class before it even began. So, I phoned my hubby on the cell, woke him up because he'd just finished his night shift, and told him I was coming home and to turn on the television. I remember thinking this is big. This is really big.
I remember I was in high school shop class (hoping I could learn to make a wooden roll-top desk for my mother, which I never did) when I heard about the Oklahoma City bombing. The teacher turned on the television and that's the first moment I saw the soot-covered fireman carrying a bloody baby (That's the picture that won a Pulitzer).
I was in junior high for the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill Supreme Court Hearing. Our social studies teacher let us watch a little, but not enough to hear all the gory, suggestive things Hill accused Thomas of saying to her.
It was night time and I sat in my living room at home with a couple of my brothers, one sister, and my dad watching O.J.'s white bronco flee the parade of police when he was accused of killing his wife.
And I vaguely remember one of my older brothers bursting into my sister and my room to announce George Bush Sr. had just declared the Desert Storm war a go. The was the first war Americans had fought in since I was born (at least it was the first I remember being declared). It gave me a scare, I'll tell you what. I heard the word war and instantly pictured WWI, WWII, Vietnam. I wasn't sure what to think of such a huge declaration.
I love hearing my mother tell stories of where she was at certain points in history. She was sitting at the kitchen table in a different house she lives in now, though she was serving lunch to the probably some of the same family members, when the news broke into her regularly-scheduled soap opera show, "As the World Turns," to announce that JFK had been assassinated. That was way before my time, but I can picture my parents and older siblings' expressions perfectly as they watched the news that day. It was definitely a major change in history.
So... where are you going to be when this date in history takes place? How will you remember? Or is this just another day for you?