November 22nd: The Darkest Day

In my mind, it's still the crime of the century.  Today marks 45 years since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.  I've been to the School Book Depository (now the Sixth Floor Museum) three times.. most recently last July.  I've been to his grave at Arlington National Cemetery, and to the JFK Library near Boston.  Even as a 9 year old elementary school kid who's now almost 55.. I can't get it out of my mind.

November 22, 1963 was the day our country took a sharp turn to the dark side.. where a guy with a rifle could change the outcome of an election and the history of our country in less than ten seconds.  Ask anyone over 50 and their painful memories come flooding back.  It was a day that television news coverage came of age as a unifying force in our country.  Television surged ahead of daily newspapers as the prime source of news coverage.  11-22-63 was also marked the first chapter of the chaos in our nation:  JFK gone, LBJ and Vietnam, the King and RFK assassinations, the Chicago Convention, Nixon and Watergate.  It all traces back to this day 45 years ago.

During our recent trip to Dallas last summer, I made sure I explained to my children what happened here, and its impact on the world.  They saw the spot in the highway where the fatal shots hit, and walked up to the grassy knoll.  They were fascinated.  Even this week, the Discovery Channel unveiled its special investigation on where the shots came from.  It should have dawned on me earlier that any shots from the knoll would have killed Jackie Kennedy, too.  They concluded, as many have, that Lee Harvey Oswald (or someone with him) could only have fired the fatal shots from the 6th floor of the depository.  I may read some assassination books this weekend.  As I said, I just can't get that crime out of my mind.

If you're about my age or older than that, share your memories with us.  Where were you when President Kennedy was slain, and how did the "crime of century" affect you?   Ralph

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