Why We Remember JFK, 50 Years Later

by Melissa Brunner

Much of the nation paused today to mark 50 years since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. For those who were alive, it has been interesting to hear the memories - each person recalling how old they were and exactly where they were and what was happening when they heard the news of the President's death. For those who were not alive, like me, you might have found yourself wondering why this anniversary is such a big deal.

One answer to that question reminds me of my mom. My mom was a Kennedy fan. She was in high school when he was killed. Over the years, any news stories on "Jackie O" or JFK Jr or Carolyn would catch her attention. Like many people, she was intrigued by the Kennedy mystique. They were a young family that seemed to embody an auroa of hope for the nation's future. Their "Camelot," it seemed, was in reach for all of us. To see it shattered so tragically had an indelible impact on a generation. This 50th anniversary, it seems, is a time to reflect on what might have been.

Of course, not everyone buys into the whole Camelot storyline. In addition, not everyone agreed with Kennedy's politics and whether or not he was or would have been one of the nation's greatest President's ever is a point of debate. Setting that aside, I think you can still appreciate this anniversary. Agree or disagree with their policies, the President of the United States is still the President of the United States. As such, the President stands as a symbol of all our nation embodies. To see that person gunned down is tragic, regardless of the side of the aisle on which you stand. It just so happened that the nation saw this tragedy unfold in the very young age of television. When JFK's casket arrived at Arlington National Cemetery, 81 percent of televisions in the United States were tuned to the coverage, a nubmer Nielsen puts among the highest rating in history. Today's anniversary reminds us of a nation coming together in a way perhaps it never had before because of new technology. I imagine it wasn't unlike what younger generations will recall from the days after 9/11.

We will never know what might have unfolded over these past 50 years had Kennedy lived, but we do have his words. I share a few of those quotes as the nation pauses, again, to remember the promise of dreams.

et us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#oH85rEeHXQSJYgOj.99
et us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#oH85rEeHXQSJYgOj.99

"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future."

"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men."

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

"There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction."

"A child miseducated is a child lost."

"Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly."

 

 

 

 

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