It’s been a week since I turned on the TV last Friday morning and saw the horrible world disaster literally unfolding- live- at the moment in Japan and across the Pacific. The conditions the Japanese population face now and in the future, will affect them for generations.
For me it will be one of those events “you’ll remember where you were at the time”. One of the most recent ones was on Sept. 11, 2001 when I was at the Kansas State Fair getting my book booth ready for a daily of fairgoers. The day was spent watching a little color TV in a nearby booth and worrying about family members in Washington DC that worked in the Pentagon.
I recall November 22, 1963 as the first time I comprehended that the world and her people could spread news and worry about a disaster together. Our fourth grade class room was interrupted by the loud and frantic ringing of the church bell across the street from the school. Teachers rushed to the hall to find out that President Kennedy had been killed. We watched the funeral on a black and white TV.
Events like these are some of the things I look for when researching for a book. How long did news about a world disaster take to reach the pioneers in central Kansas? How did they feel, and in many cases, how did they help? News then would have been carried from neighbor to neighbor, from a week- or month old- copy of a newspaper that was being passed around.
It’s only been a week, but for people in Japan (and their loved ones elsewhere in the world worrying) our feelings of grief and wanting to help is the same now as it was decades and centuries ago. At least now the news is instant and we can help quicker…