For my generation, it was the second “where were you when...” event in our lifetime. For my mother, it was the third such occasion.
Unforgettable days like these - December 7, 1941, November 22, 1963, September 11, 2001 - are etched in the memory of every American who lived through them. They become landmarks in our personal history as well as in the history of our nation. And what happens as a result of cataclysmic occurrences like Pearl Harbor and John Kennedy’s assasination and the terrorist attacks changes the course of every living person on the planet.
Stephen King’s novel, 11-22-63, does a marvelous job of revealing the way the course of history can be changed by one event. I sometimes forget that one historical action leads to a series of reactions that shape the future. Without the impetus - the action that sets the dominos falling - the future becomes completely different. In King’s novel, we see his vision of a modern American had Kennedy lived to fulfill his term.
And it isn’t pretty.
Of course that’s just fiction, and Stephen King’s fiction at that, so we don’t expect it to be rosy. But it clarified what a stunning impact one event can have on the future of the world.
So on this anniversary of one particularly earth shattering event, I can’t help but wonder how life eleven years later would be different if those terrorists had been stopped at the security gates, if they’d never been allowed on those planes that beautiful fall morning.
How the world would be different if those same men had grown up without all that hatred in their heart.
If we could all tolerate the diverse beliefs and opinions that exist throughout the universe.
If we could all live in peace.