Where were you when….

There are some events that bind us all together. The assassination of JFK, the landing on the moon, the death of Diana and the one event that changed this century – 9/11.

The question, “where were you when…” is based on our common experience. A shared point of reference, but an emotional insight about ourselves and about each other. We all remember the moment when we heard of the horror unfolding. The subsequent shock and disbelief. The grief. The anguish. I was, like most others, fixed on a TV screen at our office having heard the news in the car as I drove back with a colleague. When the towers fell, we all left, wanting to be with our families. The impact, the memory, the enormity and the emotion was, as it was for most, deep and lasting. 10 years on and the question ‘where were we when’ is the embrace that holds us all together around those moments.

Sometimes the big event, strung together by the connected world of news and communications, hides the quiet, ordinary events that we forget, discount or ignore. What if, at a time of such collective memory, we stopped and gave permission to touch those small moments we may have lost? Here are 20 where were you when’s to remind you of the ordinary stuff that passes us by that is so easy to forget. Why not start a different where were you when conversation….?

Where were you when….

1. You had your first kiss….2. You saw the best ever sunset..3. You climbed your highest mountain..4. You first saw Star Wars.!!..5. You heard that someone you loved had died…6. You decided to take your first job….7. You made your first regular gift….8. You first saw a fax come through…9. You did your first radio or TV interview…10. You made your biggest mistake…11. You realised that x was the love of your life…12. You knew what you wanted to be in life…13. You had your first drink in a pub… 14. You did the thing you are most proud of..15. You first went to the opera.. 16. You gave the best gift you ever made … 17. You did your worst ever karaoke performance..18. You did your personal best at your favourite sport….19. You last said I love you and really meant it…20. You decided to take the lead and not follow.

Where were you when, doesn’t have to be bad or big…..but it should mean something….

Posted in Citizenship, Community, Emotions, Family, Fundraising, Giving, Innovation, Insight, Inspiration, Leadership, Psychology, Stories, TV, Uncategorized, Video and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .


  1. It was a perfect day, the sun was shining, it was 9am and very hot already, I was on my boat, my friends house boat was next door and he invited me over for a coffee, he had just got up and had put his tv on to catch up with the news, living in malta we watched sky news which was CNN, I was opening up my boat when Glen shouted at me to get across to his now! I wouldn’t believe what was happening, he was right we sat in silence as the horror’s of that morning unfolded, my kids were back in UK, I felt sick, grief and worry, would UK be next, were my kids safe, I called them to tell them I loved them so much, I was lucky my kids were safe, then guilt sets in, I was so lucky I knew my family was safe,those poor families who had to learn that their loved ones were lost, why? I still don’t understand why,so many innocent people, then I learn that on the anniversary and at memorial service in London, there would be demonstrations during the minutes silence, those poor families, why do we allow this to happen, why do we allow these people to live in our country? I felt sick from shock on that day at the horror of what the human race is capable of, such heartache and sadness, I felt sick again on friday that we were not allowed to remember those who perished with respect. Where was I 5 yrs later on Sept 11th, I was fortunate to go to NY, I said my prayers for those who died while I stood at ground Zero, it was serile the one place in NY where it was silent, it was eerie but some how appropriate, I hope to god that 9/11 and 7 July never ever happens again.

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