Friday, November 22, 2013

Memories Of November 22nd, 1963

50 years ago today, in the early afternoon, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.  Like today it was a Friday.  I was a 12 year old Catholic boy attending St. Margaret Mary Catholic School.  Most of my teachers were nuns.  As soon as the news came over the school PA system, we stopped what we were doing and everyone got out their rosaries.  My teacher, Sister Charles Marion, lead us in prayer.  It was significant for us that President Kennedy was a Catholic.  I remember this day like it was yesterday.  Many people of my generation think this event was the end of our innocence.  It would be easy to think that much of life has gone downhill ever since that day in Dallas.  By the end of the sixties, President Kennedy’s brother, Robert, as well as Martin Luther King, Jr. would also be assassinated.  That entire weekend most adults were glued to their televisions.  Since I was a boy I didn’t follow every minute of the news like I would now.  However, I remember seeing the news coverage all weekend on my parent’s black and white television.  It was a very sad time for most Americans.  One thing I remember in particular was the funeral and the lighting of an eternal flame at President Kennedy’s grave.  I can’t remember the year but I eventually went to Arlington National Cemetery and I visited the site where President Kennedy is buried.  It was a very emotional experience for me.  The country was in mourning for months after this tragic event.  In February of 1964 the sadness was lifted for millions of people when four young men from England, who called themselves the Beatles, came to America and appeared on the very popular Ed Sullivan show.  At the time it was one of the most watched events in television history.  I have never been the same since both of these events happened in my life.  

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