Just this morning, while having coffee at a local Starbucks, I saw a post on Facebook, that said, today was the thirty-third anniversary of the eruption of of Mt. St. Helens in Washington State. It’s amazing, how time flies in a matter as if it was – just yesterday to one’s thinking of the past in the twenty-first century.
As I reach into the middle ages of my adult years, I often wonder where I’ve been in those thirty-three years, when the mountain exploded to such devastation and into modern history? I was only 15 years old at the time of the eruption and the dense magnitude of the disaster as it was written into modern history of the twentieth century.
Thirty-three years later into the twenty-first century, the mountain continue to lay silent, only letting off steam and venting when she needs too, the growth around the mountain has sprung back to life in a way, that marks a new beginning – but, those who lost their lives along the way, Harry Truman, 83 lived at base of the mountain on the famed “Spirit Lake,” Truman had vowed that he’d never leave the lake or the lodge he had managed on the lake for many years, even after pleaded pleas to evacuate, Truman stood his ground and died as the blast of the eruption took parts of the mountain and the devastation with it.
But, Harry Truman wasn’t the only one that lost their lives on the mountain in 1980, Volcanologist David Johnston, 30, also lost his life standing watch over the mountain some six miles from the blast site of his last reported location, according to the United States Geological Society. Both Johnston and Harry Truman’s bodies were never located after the eruption of Mt. St. Helens – but, Johnston’s observations into the final moments of his life were recorded as he notified Vancouver the volcano’s sudden eruption into modern history, “Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!” he said frantically into the radio to Vancouver.
Time not only flies by fast as we grow older, but some of us wish that we had been around to experience it. I remember vividly, there would be news reports of ash clouds heading southward to Oregon and dropping specs of ash from the eruption or eruptions the mountain had spewed following the blast.
A piece of history that has reminded me, that we still live in a fragile and violent world with nature – rather it be an eruption, earthquake or other natural disaster history would be in the making one way or the other, but time will always be something of the past that remains in our memories years later. It’s not just a memory it’s a story we can share with our children, grandchildren and future generations and more.
My grandfather used to tell me, no matter what generation you are or where in time you have been, there’s always something for everyone – “piece of history that is worth a thousand words and memories of a lifetime,” he was right along and still rings true to this very day.