I remember…

I remember waking up on the morning of March 1st, 1986! That’s twenty nine years ago, and that morning is still a quite vivid memory. Sometimes, when watching crime shows on TV, you hear the interrogator asking the suspect; ‘Where were you on xx date xxxx year??’ In the fictional ones, they always seem to remember what they did some ten years ago. That’s not normal, unless something exceptional happened.

Well, in my case it had …and not only my case, every Swede! I lived in Eskilstuna, I’d been out in some bar the night before and slowly dragged myself out of bed, turned on the TV before getting coffee ready. Instead of the breakfast-TV that was normally on, on a Saturday morning, there was some strange text scrolling all over the screen. I caught one headline that said  “Ingvar Carlsson new head of state”. As I wasn’t fully awake yet, I didn’t really react – just thought, sort of ‘in passing’ …’Oh, well where’s Palme then??’ [Palme being the prime minister of Sweden at the time].

Once I’d got a mug of coffee in my hand, I sat down on the couch to read … and it was chilling! It took a long while for it to sink in:

STOCKHOLM (TT)
Statsminister Olof Palme är död. Han avled sedan han skjutits ner i korsningen Tunnelgatan-Sveavägen i centrala Stockholm. Palme fördes till Sabbatsbergs sjukhus där han senare avled.
860301-0027

Prime Minister Olof Palme is dead. He was shot, it took place in the intersection Tunnelgatan – Sveavägen in central Stockholm. He was taken to Sabbatsberg Hospital where he later died from his injuries.

I’m not a very political person and even less back then, but this was HUGE. It was like waking up from some rosy dream, only to realise that reality is brutal. I think me, and most of my fellow country men and women [Palme included, he had NO security staff with him] were like “It doesn’t happen here!”  Now the endless hunt for his killer ensued, but the murder has never been solved.

8 Replies to “I remember…”

  1. “Like waking from a rosy dream”

    Yes.

    It was the same with Jack Kennedy. When Robert Kennedy was shot it put a chill through me and millions of others that lasts until today.

    I would say it was the feeling of us all being victims – victims without power.

    I like to think of the power of the powerless – maybe.

    And what happened to Dag Hammarskjold ?

    1. I remember them all. Apart from 9/11 JFK is the one that stands out most, even though I was eight and lived in Sweden. I stayed at home from school, watching Robert Kennedy’s funeral on TV.

      Dag Hammarskjöld … his plane went down, and I guess it’s still unclear if they shot it down. I was six, so that is a bit more fuzzy…

      The thing was, we in Sweden lived that rosy dream … feeling safe and secure, taken care of from the cradle to the grave, believing all those evil things always happened elsewhere. This was a wakeup call on so many levels.

  2. You would never forget such a huge event as that happening in your own country at the time. Since that time the world has gotten smaller by the day and sadly, no-one is immune from the realities that are happening today.

  3. I remember the day John F Kennedy was assassinated…i was all of 9 yrs old. Cried my heart out; had to be sent home from school. It shook our world in Canada even tho he was the American President…..
    Then there was Martin Luther King Jr. …it seemed anyone trying to do good in the 60’s & 70’s was ‘taken out’…it was the death of innocence….we only knew that for a few years after the World Wars…..

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