For my parents generation, the “greatest generation”, their terrible appointment with disaster came on December 7, 1941.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt called it a “day of infamy,” the unforgettable day that Japanese emperor Hirohito’s air force struck our Pearl Harbor. . . the day we entered World War II.
22 years later, the date of infamy for my baby boomer g-generation arrived: November 22, 1963 — the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.
That was the day Walter Cronkite removed his glasses and told us that President Kennedy had died at 1:00 pm, central standard time.
All of us baby boomers remember where we were when we first heard the terrible news. I was in a 7th-grade classroom. Our principal interrupted the class to deliver the news. She spent a few minutes recalling how the President had “had ’em backed up against the wall,” referring to the Russians and the Cuban missile crisis.
There was no other day of such a tragic infamy until 9/11/2001, when we all remember where we were and what we were doing when we saw or heard the news of the World Trade Center collapsing. I was repairing some exterior siding on a friend’s house when Mike rolled out in his wheelchair with the news that a plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York. My first imaginative image was of a small plane, like a Cessna, crashing into that skyscraper. But, of course, the disaster was much larger than I had first imagined. . .
But hey. . . even as I recall these tragic dates in American history, I do want to conclude this moment of reflection with a positive indicator for our future, 200 colorful images.
Behold the hopeful graphic artworks of 200 child residents, on display in a public playground, Vacaville, California: