John Lennon was shot to death outside the Dakota.
There's a period of my life punctuated by murders or attempted murders. Those a generation ahead of me remember Pearl Harbor or the Kennedy assassinations. For me, George Moscone, Harvey Milk, and John Lennon's deaths stopped the world momentarily. My memories of these events are like a yesterday far away, fresh and faded at the same time.
Can it really be 25 years since Lennon was killed? And more than that since Moscone and Milk were shot dead? In between, of course, Hinckley attempted to assassinate Reagan.
(But what I most remember from that event is driving along, hearing that Reagan had escaped injury completely, and learning by the end of my trip that he'd been hit, and then wondering if we could trust what the government let the media report. Well, that and the secret service agent, Tim McCarthy, who had the total courage to jump in FRONT of Reagan and take a bullet. I wonder still if I'd have the courage to go against every instinct of self-preservation to save someone else.)
It was a scary time, when people seemed to be assassinating political figures in the US, maybe a holdover from the 60s, but I was less aware then. Now we have orange and yellow alerts, and we're supposed to be afraid of terrorists, but political assassinations scare me more for some reason.