Last night I received a call from a friend of mine from back east. He asked if I remembered what I doing thirty years ago this day. Well, I know that I was 12 years old. That was about it. He reminded me that we were sitting in my room watching General Hospital when the broadcast was interrupted by breaking news that President Reagan had been shot. After getting over the shock of the amount of time that had gone by I started to piece together the random particulars of that day.
It was cloudy (it was Boston –go figure). I had changed out of my school uniform and put on cut-off jean shorts despite it being about 50 degrees outside. We walked around collecting money from our neighbors for a school play. I remember feeling giddy in a way but in a nervous way. We knew something was of course terribly wrong that day, but still being children there was a slight air of it all being pretend, like a movie, or better yet, like the soap opera that had been interrupted with the tragic news. Strange times. I still can’t believe how long ago that was and that my friend actually remembered this.
Years later I visited the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA. President Reagan kept a journal of his years in the White House. On display were his thoughts on what had happened to him and his willingness to forgive the man who shot him. I found it to be very touching. I don’t know if I would have the strength to forgive someone who tried to take my life.