Friday, November 22, 2013

Were you in shock - did you cry, wail, hug?

Our group was given the topic of "Mass emotion" for this month.
We've been asked to tell about an incident you've experience where a large
crowd of people shared the same strong emotion.
I'm sure most people will immediate think of JFK and his assassination in Dallas.
That was my first thought.
I do remember where I was when his death was announced. I was a student nurse working on 6E in the Calgary General Hospital. (which is no longer there)

My second thought was 9/11. I think that affected so many people world wide.
I remember exactly where I was when the first Tower was hit.
I live on the west coast of Canada. That morning my alarm had just gone off. I have it set to the radio so I can hear the weather report and traffic when I wake up, before I get ready for work.
A few minutes after it went off, about 6:45 am my time, I heard that a plane had hit the first Tower.
There was a lot of confusion.
I felt shock ripple through my body. I have friends in New York. Were they all right?
After thinking about them, I thought, this can't be an accident. It didn't make sense.
I got up and started to get ready for work and then the second plane hit.
I felt tears trickling down my face, thinking of all the people in those towers, and my friend who worked in the financial district, so close to the Towers. I knew it wasn't an accident, but I had no idea who, or why.
I prayed for those who were in the buildings. How could this have happened? Who was responsible?
All morning as I got ready for work the radio carried updates.
At work it was all anyone could talk about. People had radios on at their desk and quietly shared any information they heard. All the loops I belonged to on the internet were posting about it and asking about friends they had in New York who would have been at work in that area. All the television stations and all the radios carried the story and continued to update it throughout the day.
I'm sure, across the world, people prayed for the safety for the safety of everyone, including the firefighters, the first responders and then the dogs.

It affected me, friends and acquaintances, all Americans and people around the world.
Do you remember where you were that day? How did you feel?

That's my story on "Mass Emotions".
To check the others stories go to


  1. Why do we remember tragedies so well? I've shared joyous emotions, too, like when the moon landing happened, and the Tigers won the World Series. Enjoyed your recollections.

    1. That's an interesting thought, but it's true. I remember more of the tragedies. I remember happy events, but I don't always remember the exact moment or what I was doing at the time. I wonder if tragedy makes a deeper impression on our brain, or something.

  2. I remember the day the space shuttle blew up. I was volunteering in my daughter's school. They had it on the TV. I couldn't believe it... Of course I remember the pain with 9/11. Those tragedies are etched on my soul!

    1. Thanks for sharing, Melissa. The day the shuttle blew up was definitely a major disaster that rocked a lot of people.

  3. I remember ever detail of 911. I too am on the west coast of Canada. I was at work at the racetrack and kept going back to the tack room to watch CNN, wondering what would happen next.... That feeling of group horror, and the uneasiness of what would come next will never be forgotten.

    On the flip side, I remember every moment of Zenyatta's stretch run at Breeders Cup 2009, and the massive shared elation.

    1. Thanks for sharing both events and for making one of them a happy moment.

  4. I remember Kennedy's assignation - I was very young - came home from school. Mom was vacuuming and crying - I asked her why - she said, "Someone shot the U.S. President." Then I went out and played. It wasn't until I was a lot older did I understand - but I think it's the first time I saw my mother cry.
    9/11. I'm a retired high school teacher. I was teaching at the time. The students were really hard to read- we're a border city and bordering on NY. Some students were horrified, some numb, some confused. We spent a long time talking - my trying to explain what happened - when I barely knew- but more importantly them demanding to know why someone would do that. And my pathetic attempts to explain the unfathomable. I did not cry. Had to be strong for students, but I released my emotions when I got home and watched the images over and over again.
    The other moment - would be Challenger's explosion. They say bad things come in 3's - so let's hope that's it.
    Thanks for this post- and a chance to put into perspective something I hadn't thought about.

    1. Thanks for your comments an insight as to where you were on all three in incidents. And yes, let's hope thats it.

  5. I was 9 when JFK was shot. Young as I was, that hit me hard. I couldn't conceive that kind of hatred toward another human being. On 9/11, I was working, and my staff and I pretty much stayed glued to the TV all day and didn't get anything else accomplished. How could we? It was a devastating blow to our idea of the US being invincible on top of the tragedy of all the lost lives.

    I also remember when President Reagan was shot and holding my breath that it wouldn't be a repeat of JFK's assassination.

    I was home with my own children watching the Challenger lift-off. My kids were old enough to know what was going on. Disbelief at the horror is what comes to my mind, just like 9/11 devastation many years later.

    The Oklahoma City federal building bombing hit closer to home for me because of the connections between Timothy McVeigh and a grassroots political organization in the little town of Campo, Colorado, where I was the principal at the school. It was a scary time for us.

    1. Thanks Kaye for sharing, and few more terrible tragic moments.
      I can add one more where I remember exactly where I was, and praying but knowing it was too late - and thzt was when Princess Diana died.
      As Victoria said, lets hope there are no more.