I began to write this blog in 2005. On November 22nd of 2005, I wrote THIS.
Today happens to be Thanksgiving Day for our friends in the United States of America. And so…I think of them.
On November 22, 1963, I was sitting in a sharing circle. My teacher, Miss Goodrich (I could never figure out why she wasn’t Mrs. Goodrich) was talking to us about pets and that we would be having a special sharing time in just a few weeks. (I brought my dog, Honey. Thank you, Dad.) We were captivated by the conversation.
Then, our principal came in.
She was a female and short. I don’t remember her name. She wore a pleated skirt. She approached my teacher, who was sitting in a short chair as a part of our circle…a student chair…it was very tiny.
The principal whispered something in our teacher’s ear. Immediately our teacher began to cry and tilted her head to the outside of the circle. The principal placed her hand on her shoulder and then left. Reaching in under her sweater sleeve, Miss Goodrich, took out a folded handful of kleenex and wiped her eyes…holding the tissue, she looked up at us. I remember her face.
“Grade Threes. I want you to always remember today’s date. Today is November 22, 1963. Today is the day that our President has died.”
I was a little Canadian girl living in Battle Creek, Michigan. While in the United States, I sang the anthem…I held my hand to my heart…I pledged allegiance. I never questioned my nation-hood….I moved every two years and I adapted to whatever circumstances or place I was given. In 1963, I was in Riverside Elementary School the year ‘our President’ had died. I would never forget.
Nor have I.
As I always do, at the beginning of High School Learning Strategies class this morning, I took a moment to acknowledge the words that my teacher had given me so many years ago. This year, I am 63…and yet, I have never forgotten. I remember the adult crossing guards weeping at the cross walks, the adults and children crying…I will never forget the absolute devastation that my little community felt on that day. And so, again, tonight, I remember.