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home : columns : rahn larson
August 13, 2020

6/24/2020 3:26:00 PM
History in the making
When I was old enough to learn about Pearl Harbor, I asked Mom what she recalls about the surprise attack.
"We had just got home from church," she recalled as she began to tell the story. "It was awful."
Later, I asked about the JFK assassination and what she remembered most about those times. She had plenty to say about those days, but the thing that stuck out was she happened to be watching television the moment Lee Harvey Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby. Seeing that occur, live on TV, was unforgettable for her.
Sure, I could read all I wanted about these historic events as a student. However, it meant so much more to hear personal recollections from Mom.
My guess is that many of us will someday hear questions like these. A child, or grandchild will look up and ask, "What was it like to live through the pandemic?"
To tell the truth, I'm really not sure how I will answer.
Maybe I'll jokingly say, "We happened to have a big stock of toilet paper on hand right before it hit, otherwise we would have been in trouble." Or, maybe I'll talk about my wife, Paula, teaching first grade through distance learning. I could also mention our countless "to go" orders and all of those nights of "sportsless" television. I'm sure we'll talk about online church services, funerals and even "Zoom get-togethers" for families.
My point is, we should all take a close look around at our surroundings and what is occurring all around us. It is as momentous as World War II, the JFK shooting and 9/11.
Obviously, much of what is happening is heart-wrenching, especially the loss of jobs, businesses and loved ones. When I asked Mom, "What do you recall?" I hung on every word. I've thought about that conversation a lot lately.

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