The terrible shooting disaster in Conneticut spawned Mapelba’s post. Her questions at the end spawned mine.
What news event do you remember from your childhood? Any story from the news ever have any lasting effects?
I thought about the big events from my childhood. The assassination of President Kennedy, the death of Winston Churchill, the Aberfan mining disaster, the moon landing. Yes, I’m that old. I remember watching all of those on television as they unfolded. But none of those events had any lasting effect on me.
Then I remembered one that did. The Six Day War. It was the first time I’d thought much about Israel and here were these people on the TV showing maps of this tiny, nineteen-year-old country surrounded by enormous enemies. The way they showed it, Israel had no chance and would be wiped out. Yet, in the end, Israel won.
I didn’t hear any criticism in Britain and I don’t think there was much. Israel, which had clearly been the underdog, won against all odds. I think that must have been the first of many factors that made me decide to come and live here.
I thought about writing some of this as a comment on Mapelba’s blog, but decided not to. Times have changed. At most, I’ll post a link to this post.
10 replies on “Swaying News”
Different things really can leave a lasting impression. I can recall when, I think it was spaceship Challenger exploded, it was a terrifying thing to see since i was a kid and an explosion like that just didn’t make sense.
I can’t imagine how children who live with constant explosions are affected.
Thank you for the reply–whether here or over there. It is interesting and maybe insightful to learn what another person remembers or is altered by.
The six days war, yes that had a big impact on me and the Yom Kippur of 73.
Closer to home there is a list too long to name. But foremost is the first time the RUC and loyalists thugs colluded to attack a peaceful Civil Rights march I was on at Burntolot Bridge in Northern Ireland. That’s when I knew peaceful protest was never going to be allowed to continue in my homeland. The men of violence held sway from then on and my path was forever changed to resist them. All of them.
Kennedy yes and before he died: the Cuban missle thing when we thought nuclear armagedon was iminent. (Yes I’m even older than you Miriam!)
1982 and a little war in the South Atlantic island of the Falklands that changed my life for ever and damned near ended it.
The twin towers attacks that I saw live on TV. I cried for those that died and those that would in the aftermath all over the world. There is more but I don’t want to get melodramatic.
There is thought provoking stuff here on your post Miriam.
The original post was about a child’s perception of these events, so I kept my list to the events that took place when I was a child. Over the years, there have been many more. But you have clearly been more affected by them than I have.
The space shuttle blew up. Reagan’s assassination attempt. The death of John Lennon. Those are things I remember.
How did they affect you?
It’s odd but yes, mostly deaths – Martin Luther King, Kennedy, Hammarskjold, Churchill, Princess Diana, the Queen Mother, Rabin, the Challenger disaster, Menzies (Australian PM), Holt (Australian PM), and yes, Aberfan and then Dunblane…now Connecticut too
But also Mandela becoming President in South Africa, Major taking over from Thatcher
Did they influence me? Hammarskjold yes (for his words on responsibilities), Churchill yes (for his powerful use of the English language), the Queen Mother (for asking a very sensible question and actually wanting to know the answer), Rabin (for some extraordinary personal support for me for International Literacy Year), Mandela and Major for the same sort of encouragement.
I suppose my life has been full of people like that – and they were a powerful influence and support.
Very interesting. I would love to hear the story behind Rabin’s “extraordinary personal support”.