A friend of mine, Mary Larmoyeux, wrote in her blog, The Grand Connection, about hearing a holocaust survivor speak about her experiences in a concentration camp. This presentation challenged Mary to write about events that she personally experienced, events that her grandchildren would only read about.
She quoted John W. Gardner who said, "History never looks like history when you are living through it," then asked how we, her readers, are capturing the stories of historical events that we've lived through. To read the full article, go to this link:
Mary's question challenged me and I made a list of historical events of which I've had a personal connection, such as:
- Kennedy assassination
- Neil Armstrong walks on the moon
- Fall of Berlin Wall
- Space shuttle Challenger disaster
- The beginning of the Internet
- Oklahoma City bombing
- The fall of Sadaam Hussein
- Hurricane Katrina
- The election of our first bi-racial president
I'm writing my memories of these events and how they have affected my life. In my creative nonfiction workshops, I always stress, "You tell your stories. Don't let the 'talking heads' do it!"
Sometime soon, make a list of the historical events you've experienced—even though they don't seem like history—and write about them from a personal point of view.
Your grandchildren, and future generations will thank you!