March 30, 1981

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.

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10 thoughts on “March 30, 1981

  1. That is nice – I think people who take office or are high profile must have some idea of acceptance of what they’re getting into.

  2. The manservant’s father worked in the RR Library when it first opened (just a bit of trivia).

    I suspect I was probably asleep when the shooting happened and we would’ve heard it on our morning news. John Hinckley was certainly “disturbed” as he reportedly shot Reagan in an attempt to impress Jodie Foster.

    • Wow, that’s neat that he got to work there. It really is an incredible place. Hubby and I visited it twice.

      Yes, he was disturbed. I had forgotten about the connection to Jodie Foster.

  3. A very sad day, I remember being at work and with all major news events we were allowed to gather around the TV and watch the unfolding events. I didn’t agree with his politics, but he was a charming man.

  4. I read an article that contained several excerpts from President Reagan’s journal. Incredible. He actually journaled almost every single day. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of his presidency, but those journals are national treasures.

  5. It is very touching, to think of the great forgiveness. I do think it helped that the man, as I recall was a bit mentally unstable.

    I remember the day is exactly the same way that you did. We were sent home from school. I watched the news for a bit but then it began to repeat and roll tape, so I did whatever kids do. It did seem surreal….

    • That really struck me profoundly. It was a part of him that I didn’t know existed until I read that.

      I guess that day is sort of like the day when Kennedy was shot. You’ll always remember what you were doing. And yes, it did seem surreal.

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