Posts Tagged ‘where were you’

Charles Whitman fires from University of Texas Clock Tower, 1966

It was 45 years ago today when former U.S. Marine Charles Whitman went up to the Clock Tower at the University of Texas in Austin and killed a total of 16 people. The most tragic school shooting in American history. He had killed his mother and wife prior to his sniper rampage before he was shot and killed by local police.

This shooting would continue to have the highest death toll until the shooting in 2007 at the University at Virginia Tech. Not even the death toll at Columbine had more than the Clock Tower shootings. Yet it is a more recent event and on the minds of everyone who was alive when it happened.

This particular incident though, always comes to the minds of people whenever they hear about the subject. Three of them actually come to mind: Virginia Tech, Columbine High School, and UT Clock Tower.

It sure does seem like a long time, but people today were talking about it. It is not really making a lot of headlines today, but it is being talked about by word of mouth. Particularly those who are old enough to remember it. Or were told about it from prior generations who lived through it.

I found myself swimming in various conversations today with people who actually can remember it. A lot of tears and emotions coming from them as they wiped their eyes. Some of them still haunted by the memory of what Charles Whitman had done. Literally putting Austin, Texas back on the map and in the public eye for this horrible event.

I have yet to talk to someone who might have known Whitman personally. Those people may have passed by now. But all you have to do is mention his name or say the words “UT Clock Tower” and you’ll find yourself engaging in very powerful and emotional conversation with those who remember.

This event, along with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy has become the two most notorious “Where were you” moments in their lives. This question being asked time and time again.

But this new generation in which we live in, have our own “Where were you” moments. We are too young to remember Kennedy’s assassination. We are too young to remember the Moon Landing. But there are those other events that have happened (like Columbine and Virginia Tech) that have become our own moments.

It will only be six weeks from the posting of this blog where America will begin to remember the events of 9/11. It being the tenth anniversary. That too, is also stuck in our minds and is also moments that we remember what we were doing when we heard about it. I for one, will be sure to post a blog when that day comes and give my story of where I was when it happened.

Still some Americans, and especially Texans are looking back on this day as they do each and every year. Being in downtown Austin today is a complete mess. And I do not suspect that will change for many anniversaries to come.

The media has gone into a frenzy. The world is in absolute celebration mode. Americans tonight, are rejoicing and some are in tears. But tonight- will be one more night in our nation’s history that will forever be on the minds of those who lived it.

This day has been coming: 9 years, 7 months, and 20 days. It most certainly has been a day that many Americans have been dreaming of. Praying for, and hoping without end.

The mastermind behind the attacks of 9/11, is dead.

At 9:52 PM CDT, I received a telephone call from a neighbor. She told me that Bin Laden was dead. I was thrown back in my wheelchair… stunned and filled with overwhelming excitement.

I turned on the television, knowing that it did not matter what channel or network I wanted, if this was really happening, then it would be on everything!!

I was right. Everything was interrupted to share through the media that this had happened. Naturally, like millions or perhaps billions across the world, were waiting for this to be confirmed.

At approximately 10:35 PM CDT, President Obama spoke to the nation, telling us that Bin Laden had been killed by United States military forces. I am sure for countless others just like myself, it was all I needed.

I am sure that blogs are on fire about this topic, and will be for many days to come. I am just one of the many who decided to write about it. Television and radio, the Internet and so many other websites will be flooded with these messages from many American citizens of their unrestrained jubilation over this event.

For many Americans, especially those of us who lived through 9/11, the population had added the question of, “Where were you on September 11th?”. Now, there is a new question. “Where were you on the first of May when it was announced that Bin Laden had been killed?”. Most certainly it will be a question that will be of better cheer than the previous.

It does not matter what side of the American political spectrum you base your beliefs upon. What matters now is that all Americans are united once more in gratitude that the evil man who slaughtered thousands of innocent men, women, and children can personally do the world no more harm.

I will always remember those who suffered on 9/11. And I will always remember this day. A date that be looked upon as a great and glorious victory for our men and women who are serving in our military and who have served since that time in September of 2001. (Which includes my very own younger brother. I love you bro, thanks for everything you’ve done!)

I will always give thanks for those who sacrificed their own lives, so that the rest of the nation, the rest of the world, can be able to witness the downfall of an evil lunatic with nothing but blood on his hands and murder in mind.