Richard Bak, who wrote our story about the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination (page 90), remembers exactly where he was when he heard President John F. Kennedy had been shot. “Inside a classroom at Epiphany Catholic Grade School on Detroit’s west side,” he says.
Most people recall such significant events. As Bak writes: “Every generation or so, America has a punched-in-the-gut moment, a tragedy so overwhelming and culturally significant that a date stamp is indelibly branded into the national consciousness.”
For my parents’ generation, it was likely Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941 — the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Certainly, as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, it was “a date which will live in infamy.”
For my children, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, will certainly stand out. The tragedy took a toll on our country — emotionally and economically — that will last for generations.
No one better understands the significance of events like these than our military personnel. So we also take the time to acknowledge another anniversary. Ten years ago this November — fittingly in the same month that we mark Veterans Day — Dale Throneberry and Bob Gould went on the air for their first broadcast of “Veterans Radio.” Learn how they’re reaching out to former and current service men and women on page 42.
Service comes in many forms, but it’s not always appreciated. See our story on page 45 about Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, who will likely be remembered for a dual distinction — as one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history as well as the man who was in charge when Detroit declared bankruptcy. As frequent contributor Jim McFarlin writes, Bing “opted to run for mayor in the shadow of the worst political scandal in modern Detroit history. He surely didn’t need to do it.” But he chose to stay and has spent the past four years attempting to repair a broken city.
Another former basketball star is working to change Detroit, as well. Jalen Rose of the University of Michigan’s Fab Five fame established the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA), a charter high school on the northwest side (page 38).
Elsewhere in this issue, it’s an Hour Detroit tradition to recognize those who “suit up” in an entirely different manner. See page 64 for our annual list of Detroit’s Best Dressed. We also ask three local chefs to share their take on the national Thanksgiving Day feast (see page 80).
As we give thanks this month, let’s remember to salute those who serve our country abroad — and those who make a difference right in our backyard.
P.S. 200 and Counting
Hour Detroit reaches a milestone this month — our 200th issue (the first was in 1996). Along the way, we’ve won nearly 30 national and regional awards. I’ve been involved in a mere eight of these issues, so I salute the current and former staffers, contributors, and — most important — the readers and advertisers who have supported us over the years.