Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Rant #750: Gunned Down

Today is the 44th anniversary of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.

It is hard to believe that so many years have passed, but they have.

1968 was a tough year.

The Martin Luther King assassination was followed by this senseless act.

Kennedy was running for President, and a lot of people thought that he would be a shoo-in for the job. He was making a speech in California, and Sirhan Sirhan came out of nowhere and shot him.

Sirhan was tackled by a number of people, including athletes Roosevelt Grier and Rafer Johnson, and due to these efforts, was apprehended immediately.

I still remember the picture of Kennedy on the cover of the New York Daily News. He was on the floor, and he was hurt, badly hurt.

The next morning, everyone brought their transistor radios to school, keeping an almost minute-by-minute watch on Kennedy's condition.

He succumbed, and we wondered where this world was going.

And we wondered about the Kennedy curse. Three Kennedy brothers gone, two by assassins' bullets.

To this day, Sirhan pleads his innocence. His latest ploy from a few years ago was that he was hypnotized into doing the shooting, and it was some sort of conspiracy.

He, like Charles Manson, will never leave a jail cell. Both will probably outlive us all, but they won't ever get out of prison. Their acts are simply too heinous to allow them back into the general population.

The Kennedy saga has continued on and on, with Ted having his own personal demons. He is gone now, too, of course, but the family has had numerous dealings with the dark side. Just a few weeks ago, and estranged Kennedy spouse hung herself.

It never ends.

On that day in 1968, like when his brother was assassinated, we lost a bit more of our innocence. The Summer of Love was just a memory, the Year of Assassinations wasn't even half over yet.

But we have survived, we have moved on, and the doldrums that were reached in 1968 gave way to 1969, the year of the moon walk, one of JFK's visions when he was President.

We can't ever forget the past, but we can move on and make the present and future better, and by and large, that is what we have done.

But we must never forget 1968. It was a year that should be engrained in our very beings.

And we must not forget RFK. There is no telling where we would be today if he hadn't left us so soon.

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