From: email@example.com (Tim Pierce)
Subject: Momentous Silence
Date: 28 Jun 1994 15:37:21 -0400
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, r l reid wrote:
>Every bone in my body aches, but man, 57th street was OURS. It is amazing
>how quiet a million people can be when they are remembering.
At about three o'clock on Sunday afternoon, I was explaining
the meaning of "soc.motss" with -- I think -- Ry Schwark to
a curious neighbor, when I came to the end of a sentence and
realized that everyone had stopped talking. More than that,
everything had *stopped*.
I turned and looked down the street, down the length of the
march to where hundreds of thousands of people had fallen
silent. It was more than amazing. It was wondrous. I was
incredibly skeptical of the whole "moment of silence"
concept from the start; I fully expected that the sounds of
cars or even conversations from a few blocks away would
carry over dramatically, or that dogs or onlookers would
disturb the moment, or even simply that no one would be able
to get so many multitudes of people to silence themselves
for even a minute.
But there was nothing. Far away overhead, almost beyond
hearing, there was the very faint sound of a helicopter.
Occasionally there was a very small muttering from far away,
but it was nearly lost in the blankets of silence. Only the
wind and the slight rustling of a million people breathing.
I grew up in New York City for eighteen years and I will
swear that never, at four o'clock in the morning in the dead
heat of summer, have I ever witnessed anything like it
As the minute drew to a close, a roar could be hear
approaching from the front of the march, and a roar was
really what it was -- an incredible maelstrom of sound and
motion and fury crashing in like a tsunami, and before you
knew it it was all around you, and picking you up, and you
were screaming too without even realizing it.
It was spiritual.
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