Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rant #623: Time To Remember

Amid all the Thanksgiving holiday cheer, I think we must pause to remember that today is the 48th anniversary of one of the most chilling periods in our country's recent history.

President John F. Kennedy was gunned down in a motorcade in Dallas on this day in 1963.

I have spoken about this event many, many times, and have done it on this blog too.

All these years later, it continues to send shivers up my spine.

I won't rehash my personal story again, although I will say that I was in the school, and we heard about it via another teacher and then an announcement on the loud speaker system. We went home, watched its aftermath, and it has stayed with us for decades.

JFK was the first hero of our generation to die, followed a few years later by Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. Whatever you think of those men, for the baby boomer generation, they were living and breathing touchstones for our existence.

But JFK was the President, so it was something much, much different.

The country's leader was gunned down, and we kind of lost our innocence then. This signaled that the 1950s were truly over, and we were moving into a new world, the 1960s, which would end up being probably the most revolutionary decade in our country's history.

Everything was turned upside down during that decade, and JFK's assassination pretty much started all of that to happen.

Remember, he was probably the last President whose portrait hung on walls of our homes.

The U.S. President was revered in those days. He was an icon. He was respected. We believed everything he said, and rallied around everything he did.

After JFK's assassination, things changed. The country changed. And the world changed.

Could you imagine if in 1963 we had the Internet, cell phones, and the like?

No, those were much simpler times on the outside, but very complex on the inside, just like today's world is.

So with the holiday turkey in sight, take a moment to think about JFK.

If you weren't around, read up on him, and read up on the day that the world stopped, at least for a brief moment, when some person decided that he would be JFK's judge, jury and executioner.

Like I said, the chills still run up and down my spine.

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