What’s the first major news story you remember as a child?
Questions asked and answered for my daughters
What defines a major news story is relative, especially for a kid. I was around 9–10 years old, going into the 5th grade, when I heard about Operation Desert Shield and then Desert Storm.
It was the Gulf War in Iraq and Kuwait where the United States fought in the middle east to protect various interests. I’m not sure I really understood what was happening at the time, but I do recall feeling the sentiment of patriotism and surrounding support for our troops.
I remember in 5th grade, the school district called for an all-schools assembly to honor and communicate what was happening. This was around 1990… way before the common use of video for amateurs was mainstream.
I was still in elementary school, and we took a trip to the high school, which was a big deal by itself. Each school in the district had an assigned area of the bleachers. I don’t recall the exact presentation or what went on other than feeling the entire gymnasium sing in unison — the national anthem.
In addition, the song “I’m Proud to be an American” by Lee Greenwood was sung by my elementary school. I can still feel the song’s power, and it was later echoed as a song of choice for remixes for rallying the same feelings right after the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001.
I’m thankful that I was a kid during that time. I remember the aftermath with the enemy leader’s statues falling, watching the news on TV with night missiles flying, and listening to the radio to find out what was happening and hearing the “Letter to Hussein” that was all about drumming up patriotic support for the effort.
I think it worked, because I still recall the voice and the influence it had in sparking supportive energy… “…kick your a$$ all the way back to Baghdad.” It was back in 1991…
What is major news?
Today, I think it’s much more difficult to classify what a “major news story” actually is. Each news outlet, social media channel mob, individuals sharing opinions all over the place… it’s impossible to determine the scale, depth, and focus to see the true lens of what we should care about and rally behind. There are too many individualistic causes.
I wish I was a kid again and didn’t have to worry about the bigger picture events happening in the world. But, there is one feeling that should be consistent through the ages… having pride, patriotism, and unity.