Saturday, September 11, 2021

On this Day... by Liz Flaherty

On this day, we grieve as a nation. We have mourned the losses of 9/11/2001 for 20 years. Regardless of Facebook memes and accusing tweets and ghastly opinion pieces to the contrary, we have not forgotten. Not for a single day.

I went to a meeting the night it happened, and Bobette Miller told me what she'd been doing on December 7, 1941. She remembered it in detail.

On November 22, 1963, I was sitting in study hall when President Kennedy was shot. The girl across the table said, "I wanted him out of office, but not that way," and it was my first realization that the political divide went deeper than I'd imagined.

Martin Luther King was killed on April 4, 1968. I will be forever ashamed that although I was so sorry it had happened, I didn't realize the depth and breadth of the pain that loss caused.

On June 5, 1968, my mom woke me to tell me Bobby Kennedy had been shot. That was when, more than a political divide, I learned about hate. My own. Sirhan Sirhan, who killed RFK, has been recommended for parole. Fifty-three years after he committed his crime, I am still horrified by the thought that he'll be free to walk the streets.

Columbine. Sandy Hook. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Since Columbine, according to the Washington Post, more than 256,000 children at 278 schools have been exposed to gun violence. At least 151 children, educators and other people have been killed in assaults, and another 323 have been injured.

I remember Nine Eleven. Where I was and what I was doing and that at first I thought it was just a dreadful accident.

I remember those other days, too. As I said, we grieve as a nation. We grieve, but we don't learn, do we? We never learn.

Have a good week. Be nice to somebody.


  1. Great piece, Liz! You evoked such feelings and memories with each tragedy you listed. I remember them well. Unfortunately.

    1. Yeah. They helped to shape us, and not all in bad ways. Or so I tell myself.

  2. thanks for sharing, liz. I don't think I'll ever forget that day, and its still weird to me what detail I remember. Like, I know what I ate for lunch (tuna salad) although 'ate' is really descriptive because I sat staring at that sandwich for what seemed like hours until I finally just threw it away.

    1. "Sat staring." I think we all did a lot of that that day. I worked all day, but have NO memory of it.

  3. Great post, Liz. I can remember where I was and what I was doing during those horrific events as well, even though for some of them, like JFK's assassination, I was just a little kid. Those moments don't leave you.