When I passed by the firehouse this morning the flag was at half-staff. The breeze waved memories of JFK and my childhood back into view.
My uncles and aunts had just arrived for the Thanksgiving holiday the night of November 21, 1963. I, along with my brother and two sisters were at grammar school. The Principal, Sister John Bosco, appeared at the doorway of our classroom, whispered to our teacher, Sister Bernard. Her eyebrows raised as her hand flew to her mouth.
“Everyone kneel down,” she said, waving to the floor. “Our President has been shot.”
Among gasps and questions, thirty little kids fell to the floor, bowed their heads and prayed. I kept thinking why would someone shoot our President. His photograph was on our wall, with the Pope. He was Catholic, like us. We’re supposed to be protected, with prayer, isn’t that what the nuns tell us. This was very confusing for me.
The school released us early. We walked home and saw our uncles, aunts, and my mom all leaning towards the television. They were all red-eyed. We were told to go upstairs. It’s the first time I remember feeling afraid. Later, Mom told us that President Kennedy died.
My mother still recalls watching the parade, my uncle remarking on the President as a hero, serving as he had served in WW II. She said they were shocked into silence when they saw that the President had been shot. I wanted to ask her why he wasn’t protected by prayer, but I couldn’t. She was too sad.
To this day she gets teary eyed when she views JFK’s life on T.V. Even now she still thinks it was “The Republicans or the Russians,” who killed JFK.
For me, this was the beginning of an era marked with assassinations, fear, protests, and change.
President John F. Kennedy had an interesting life.
It is fifty years to the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, but his life – and death – continue to fascinate. He was certainly one of America’s most charismatic Presidents. But how much do you know about him?
Here’s 22 things you may not have known about him, by Colin Falconer, Author.