Ponder this:

Friday, November 22, 2013


7th grade. 
Sent back to our homerooms. 
The office turned on the public address system and we listened to the radio report. 
Then we were dismissed early and sent home on the school buses.
All those twelve-year-old kids in the halls opening and closing lockers, going down the stairs and nobody speaking a word. 
There was a barely audible shuffle of feet, and that was all.
A vacuum, a waiting.

Two years prior, my father.
Five years later, RFK and Martin Luther King, Jr.
They weren't as good as we thought they were, but we believed in them.
All dead. So much for belief.

"Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave 
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind; 
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave. 
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned."
~Dirge Without Music
by Edna St Vincent Millay


Hilary said...

Just about everyone who was old enough to remember has a strong recollection of that day. Even we Canadians.

Muffy's Marks said...

The day our generation lost its innocence!

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

The loss of innocence as a generation and as a nation...so wonderfully expressed!

DJan said...

That dirge says it all. That time was a very dark one in my world. I was a young mother and watched, along with the nation, as we saw our lives change in front of our eyes. Everyone I knew cried. You express it well here.

Pauline said...

How long ago, and how little we've learned… The dirge makes me sad and hopeful at the same time. We all go down.

Carolynn Anctil said...

I wonder, at times like these, what might have been, had the tragedy not occurred that took a life too soon.

Vicki Lane said...

Such a good post and a good quote. Probably all our heroes have feet of clay but it's what they stand for rather than what they are that makes them heroes

C-ingspots said...

I have to wonder, if that same thing happened today; what kind of display of emotion would we see coming from such young people? Would we see any at all? We are such a different world than that one was then...we've continued to decline down the slippery slope. I enjoyed the quote, and like another commentor mentioned, it filled me with a resigned sadness, but left me also, with hope. I too, am not resigned. Good post.

rachel said...

In my convent boarding school, getting ready for bed, one of the nuns called us together and told us. We hadn't known much about him, in our closed-off lives, but we knew that something terrible had occurred, terrible and unforgettable.