proof of age - I know its off topic but...

Peter A. McGraw pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU
Sat Feb 5 00:21:39 UTC 2000

Still off-topic, and still with apologies, but while JFK's assination was
indeed "a segment of the population recalling a shared sense of grief," it
was much more.  It was the shattering of a world we had all inhabited until
then, and would now never be able to return to.  Assassinations had been
something that we read about in history books, not something that could
ACTUALLY HAPPEN in our own experience.  Suddenly it was real, and an alien
concept, vulnerability, was staring us in right the face.

I don't claim I analyzed all this clearly in my mind when I heard the news,
but I think it was all mixed in with the emotions and was what drove the
sense of disbelief.  Even though the emotions were different, for me the
JFK assassination was much more akin to the fall of the Berlin Wall than to
the Challenger disaster in its world-changing dimension.

Peter Mc.

--On Fri, Feb 4, 2000 6:39 PM -0500 "Steve K." <stevek at SHORE.NET> wrote:

> On Fri, 4 Feb 2000, Kathleen Miller wrote:
>> The Challenger, on the other hand, I sat watching with my sophomore
>> History class, but I would not compare the death of seven strangers to a
>> beloved president. Damn shame, yes, personal loss, no.
> I agree with you on that -- my point was that for those of us who aren't
> old enough to remember (or weren't alive during) the assassination or
> death of a president in office, as with JFK and FDR, the Challenger is the
> closest thing that approximates it, in terms of a segment of the
> population recalling a shared sense of grief.
> That is, I can't know what it was like when JFK died, but I am aware of
> the response to the Challenger, and it's the only thing I can think of
> that comes close to a nation grieving as a unit within my lifetime.
> --- Steve K.

                               Peter A. McGraw
                   Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
                            pmcgraw at

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