Do you Remember where you were?
It was 8 years ago tonight-- August 30, 1997. I invited my family to my downtown loft to celebrate my sister-in-law's birthday. We all walked across the street and had a celebration at one of the restaurants in Underground Atlanta. We came back to my loft afterwards and someone turned on the TV. Breaking news: Princess Di was involved in a car accident. At the time it didn't seem like a big deal... poor Di had a car wreck. Big deal, huh? Angie opened her gifts, we had cake and ice cream and they went home. I was cleaning up and the TV was still on and I was barely listening to it. All of a sudden they announced that Princess Di didn't survive the crash. I found myself glued to the TV for hours. I felt so sorry for the people in London- most of them were asleep and didn't know anything about the car wreck. I tried to put myself in their place. I kept thinking that in a few hours they would all wake up and find out that their Princess was dead. I felt like I had a big secret from the whole country of England and any moment it would be revealed.
At the time I still worked at Rosenbluth International. Across the street from my office was a statue that Prince Charles had donated to Atlanta, in honor of the 1996 Olympics the previous year. The site of the statue was turned into a shrine to Lady Diana. All of a sudden flower arrangements arrived, candles were burning, stuffed animals and sympathy cards littered the small patch of land where the Olympian statue stood. There was even a guy with an organ at the foot of the statue, playing soft music while the mourners gathered and left their prayers and momentos.
It was a week that I'll never forget-- stamped on my brain along with the explosion of the Challenger, the plane crash of JFK, Jr., and September 11th. Some things stay with us forever .