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Thu Nov 22, 2012, 08:48 AM

In memoriam: President John F. Kennedy

It's hard to believe we lost our President 49 years ago today, and I can't help thinking how different things would be had he been able to finish even his first term.




OFFICIAL WHITEHOUSE PORTRAIT

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Reply In memoriam: President John F. Kennedy (Original post)
ailsagirl Nov 2012 OP
quinnox Nov 2012 #1
ailsagirl Nov 2012 #2
coalition_unwilling Nov 2012 #54
Hekate Nov 2012 #80
loudsue Nov 2012 #84
Historic NY Nov 2012 #3
H2O Man Nov 2012 #4
ailsagirl Nov 2012 #5
libinnyandia Nov 2012 #6
ailsagirl Nov 2012 #9
George II Nov 2012 #19
WinstonSmith4740 Nov 2012 #36
ashling Nov 2012 #70
byeya Nov 2012 #7
We People Nov 2012 #8
ailsagirl Nov 2012 #12
sheshe2 Nov 2012 #17
ProudProgressiveNow Nov 2012 #48
narnian60 Nov 2012 #101
dixiegrrrrl Nov 2012 #10
coalition_unwilling Nov 2012 #55
dixiegrrrrl Nov 2012 #62
coalition_unwilling Nov 2012 #63
WiffenPoof Nov 2012 #79
Freddie Nov 2012 #11
ailsagirl Nov 2012 #13
dinger130 Nov 2012 #14
truth2power Nov 2012 #15
Faygo Kid Nov 2012 #16
aquart Nov 2012 #93
Octafish Nov 2012 #18
YoungDemCA Nov 2012 #57
Peace Patriot Nov 2012 #86
triplepoint Nov 2012 #97
WinstonSmith4740 Nov 2012 #100
Octafish Nov 2012 #92
bayareaboy Nov 2012 #20
pinboy3niner Nov 2012 #21
kairos12 Nov 2012 #22
MineralMan Nov 2012 #23
SharonAnn Nov 2012 #26
MineralMan Nov 2012 #41
aquart Nov 2012 #96
ailsagirl Dec 2012 #102
aquart Dec 2012 #103
druidqueen Nov 2012 #99
49jim Nov 2012 #24
DFW Nov 2012 #25
aquart Nov 2012 #95
greatauntoftriplets Nov 2012 #27
lonestarnot Nov 2012 #28
ailsagirl Oct 2013 #104
Lugnut Nov 2012 #29
ancianita Nov 2012 #30
mountain grammy Nov 2012 #31
Ochsfan Nov 2012 #32
triplepoint Nov 2012 #89
ThatsMyBarack Nov 2012 #33
bobthedrummer Nov 2012 #34
onethatcares Nov 2012 #35
Trailrider1951 Nov 2012 #37
47of74 Nov 2012 #38
Lilma Nov 2012 #39
Loki Nov 2012 #40
ananda Nov 2012 #42
polmaven Nov 2012 #43
ejbr Nov 2012 #44
AmBlue Nov 2012 #45
nevergiveup Nov 2012 #46
Auggie Nov 2012 #47
Tumbulu Nov 2012 #74
alterfurz Nov 2012 #49
ProudProgressiveNow Nov 2012 #50
liberal N proud Nov 2012 #51
niyad Nov 2012 #52
chuckstevens Nov 2012 #53
coalition_unwilling Nov 2012 #58
Freddie Nov 2012 #65
slackmaster Nov 2012 #56
OldDem2012 Nov 2012 #59
raccoon Nov 2012 #98
gopiscrap Nov 2012 #60
coalition_unwilling Nov 2012 #61
ailsagirl Nov 2012 #64
Blue_In_AK Nov 2012 #66
ailsagirl Nov 2012 #67
Change has come Nov 2012 #68
PlanetBev Nov 2012 #69
mrmpa Nov 2012 #71
Third Doctor Nov 2012 #72
Canuckistanian Nov 2012 #73
Aristus Nov 2012 #75
LongTomH Nov 2012 #76
eridani Nov 2012 #77
coalition_unwilling Nov 2012 #78
eridani Nov 2012 #90
juajen Nov 2012 #81
Zen Democrat Nov 2012 #82
pscot Nov 2012 #83
defacto7 Nov 2012 #85
Peace Patriot Nov 2012 #87
burrowowl Nov 2012 #88
WillyT Nov 2012 #91
ailsagirl Nov 2012 #94

Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 08:51 AM

1. probably the most

 

charismatic and world popular president in history.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 08:54 AM

2. Yes



What a tragic loss.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:04 PM

54. Abe Lincoln might give JFK a run for his money, at least for working people

 

around the world.

Not to take anything away from JFK.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:10 PM

80. Not quite, but certainly very talented indeed

He didn't get enough time....

As for charisma, our current President is pretty charismatic.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #80)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:33 AM

84. Very much so. n/t

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:01 AM

3. I remember...that dreadful day that changed America.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:04 AM

4. A tragic day,

not only for this nation, but for the world.

I still have all of the NY Times from the next ten days, etc.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:07 AM

5. That was the day when America changed forever

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:08 AM

6. I was in Mrs. Kloster's English class when we heard the news. I'll never forget;

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Response to libinnyandia (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:20 AM

9. I was also in class...

It was 11:30 am (thereabouts) on the west coast when we heard. One minute I was looking forward to the weekend and the next was utterly stunned to hear the news.

I'll never forget.

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Response to libinnyandia (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:02 AM

19. I was in the middle of a Spanish test in High School...

...it was suspended and we were all sent home. In the Manhattan subway station we had no idea of what happened, but there were rumors that "the President was shot".

1-1/2 hours later I got home and walked in the front door, my father was home and my parents were crying. I knew then.

I promised myself that I wouldn't study for that test given the interruption, and wound up getting a grade of 32 when it was resumed 2 weeks later. I didn't regret not studying.

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Response to George II (Reply #19)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:42 AM

36. Biology class here.

Sophomore in high school. Like all of us back then, we'll never forget what we were doing.

Except Poppy Bush...he couldn't remember.

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Response to WinstonSmith4740 (Reply #36)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 08:51 PM

70. 6th grade social studies

My mom was crying when I got home.

My mom was the Den Mother for my Cub Scouts pack and we had served as honor gaurds for him when he had visited Houston a month or so before.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:10 AM

7. I shook his hand in 1960 when he was running for President. It's hard to tell how proud

 

Irish Americans were of him.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:20 AM

8. JFK was the first president that I actually remember in my lifetime, so in my eyes, nobody else

has replaced that first image in my mind.

That is right - it's doubly tragic what happened, since the world may have been very different had he lived.

With all that goes into preparing for and observing an early Thanksgiving, today's date didn't even sink in until your post. Sad as it always it, thanks for posting the reminder and the beautiful portrait.

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Response to We People (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:24 AM

12. You're welcome

That awful day will never be forgotten.

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Response to We People (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:58 AM

17. I was at a birthday party for a classmate at the time.

It was a very sad day for our Country

It was the day that America wept.

Peace to all on this day of Thanksgiving.

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Response to We People (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:27 AM

48. Same here.. first President I remember.. nt

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Response to ProudProgressiveNow (Reply #48)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:27 PM

101. Me, too. Fifth grader at the time.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:22 AM

10. Thank you for the reminder of the date.

Busy day for a lot of us.

"The day the music died"...indeed.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #10)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:12 PM

55. Your alternate interpretation of "American Pie" is shared by me

 

somewhat (and much appreciated).

Usually, the song is taken to refer to the deaths of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper (Father, Son and Holy Ghost). I, however, like to interpret it to refer to the deaths of JFK, MLK, Jr., and RFK.

http://understandingamericanpie.com/vs6pg2.htm

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #55)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:42 PM

62. McLean made it opaque enough

we can hear different meanings
but yes, like you, I was in a time and place in which the deaths of JFK, MLK, Jr., and RFK had monumental, life changing meaning.
Esp., I think, because MLK was killed in April '68, and RFK was killed a month later...the message was pretty clear.
And American Pie was released in '71.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #62)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:47 PM

63. I listened to the AM-format song (short version) over and over that summer. Then

 

bought the album and listened to the long version until I had worn out the vinyl.

McClean said in an interview that the success of 'AP' ruined him as a songwriter. He was being far too hard on himself, imo, as anyone who could write 'AP' and 'Vincent' has earned a spot in the songwriters' hall of fame, imo.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #63)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:53 PM

79. Vincent Always Makes Me Silently Weep. NT

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:23 AM

11. For those of us old enough to remember

Even of they were little kids at the time (I was 7) the date Nov. 22 will always have a special, sad significance. What this country might have been.

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Response to Freddie (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:30 AM

13. What this country might have been...

So wrenching to ponder

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:36 AM

14. My sister was working at the Dallas Morning News

and remembers the motorcade going by. She was surprised at how quickly secret service/FBI? swarmed the building and the surrounding area where she worked.

I was a teenage girl on vacation in Florida....a shocking time.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:44 AM

15. Thank you for posting this. I still feel the grief over what "they" did,

killing JFK, and later MLK and RFK, just so real equality and social justice would be stillborn in this country. All our leaders....gone.

I was a young mother with an infant daughter. I was feeding her lunch when I heard it on the radio. Will never forget.

I wish I believed in Hell, for those responsible should surely spend eternity there.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:49 AM

16. Next year will be overwhelming - and Nov. 22 falls on a Friday.

As it did then. The memories are astonishing for those of us old enough to recall.

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Response to Faygo Kid (Reply #16)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 02:43 AM

93. Friday. I was all dressed up for my senior pictures after school. And a play in the city.

Those Twelfth Night tickets with the date clearly marked remained in my wallet until it was stolen years later.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:59 AM

18. President Kennedy was a man of peace.

JFK kept us out of war, despite the best efforts of the hawks.
JFK worked to make ALL Americans equal under law, despite the best efforts of racists in his own party.
JFK led America to a New Frontier and the moon, what had long been thought impossible.

His successors have largely led the nation in other directions.

Thank you for remembering, ailsagirl.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #18)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:15 PM

57. I reject this premise

JFK was no more a "man of peace" than most other Presidents.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #57)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 01:00 AM

86. Essential reading: "JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters,"

by James Douglass, 2008, Orbis/Maryknoll Books.

You really need to read this. It's a tough read, especially for those of us who lived through it, because it takes you through all the details of the assassination and all the meandering, confusing misdirection and coverup that occurred. But it is a very lucid and enlightening expose of the crime, and, more than this, Douglass provides brilliant and original research on WHY JFK was killed--that he was in the process of becoming "a man of peace," defied and evaded the CIA with backchannel contacts with the Soviet Union's leader, Krushchev, and began forging an alliance for the elimination of nuclear weapons and the END of the "Cold War" (and all the proxy wars).

This CHANGE in JFK occurred as a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis, wherein the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA and the MIC were telling him to NUKE Russia while the U.S. had missile superiority. He thought they were insane. It changed his whole outlook, gazing like Dante in the Circles of Hell, at nuclear annihilation of an entire people with hundreds of thousands of casualties on our east coast. He wouldn't do it. He couldn't do it. And they killed him for that and tried to throw the blame on Russia, to get "the communists" wiped out in retaliation. (LBJ gave them Vietnam instead.)

Meticulous documentation of all this in Douglass' book. Brilliant book. And he leaves "why it matters" pretty much up to the reader. Ain't it obvious? The SAME kinds of people--our militarists and war profiteers--are still in charge. Change "communists" to "terrorists" and ask yourself, who benefits from this endless state of war?

It STILL matters--and the reason is that JFK had chosen a peaceful path, in defiance of all of them. He wasn't perfect. He made mistakes. He started out as a "Cold Warrior." He lived in the confusion of poor communications (in those days), disinformation from his own intelligence agency, and other problems, surrounded by militarists in a culture of rabid "anti-communism" within the government. But he DID change. He was ABLE TO change and see much farther than those around him. He did some dramatic things--the Russian wheat deal, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and more--to further his (and Krushchev's!) quest for world peace. They saw that he would be re-elected (and possibly fulfill his vow to "smash the CIA into a thousand pieces"). They viewed him as a "traitor" and they killed him for it.

Douglass' book is utterly convincing on this point--on WHY he died; also, on who did it (he nails the CIA as far up as operations chief Richard Helms) and other points, such as the purpose of misdirection to Russia. JFK would NOT have been assassinated if he had not been--or, rather, if he had not been in the process of becoming--"a man of peace." He was going to take the whole country in that direction. They knew this. They stopped him. And then, as LBJ said, shortly after the assassination, "Now they can have their war." (He was speaking of the CIA and Vietnam.)

Please read Douglass' book before you reach any conclusions about the JFK assassination. You may not agree (although I think you will). But he speaks to your very point, eloquently and convincingly, based on a decade of research and analysis.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #86)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 03:56 AM

97. Well Then, Let's Get Right To It!

 








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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #86)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:03 PM

100. Another good one...

"Best Evidence" by David Lifton (?) I read it back in the 80's and although it has been denigrated by some, I think it had an awful lot of interesting points. His main point was that the conspirators knew that the assassination would be investigated by politicians who were basically lawyers, who always look for the "best evidence". In this case, it was JFK's body. His claim was that the body was altered before the official autopsy. He also tends to point to the CIA...JFK's threat to smash it, it's (CIA) horrible intel on Cuba (no air cover needed) which led directly to the Bay of Pigs debacle, and his decision that "If Vietnam wants democracy, they're going to have to get it themselves." He was preparing to bring everyone home, soldiers and advisers, by Christmas of 1963. He was shot less than a month later.

And as I mentioned in my earlier post, George H.W. Bush, who actually was IN Dallas that horrible day, can't remember what he was doing at the time. Which has got to make him the only person living at the time who can't. The bastard.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:04 AM

20. I got to see President Kennedy with ...


about 100,000 other folks at UC Berkeley. I think that was in 1961. I think I was in the 7th grade.

The next year I got to hand a shovel to Herbert Hoover when he broke ground for a Boy's Club.

Who was I more impressed by, Hmm?

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:06 AM

21. Walter Cronkite announces the news to the nation that JFK has died...

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:14 AM

22. Still Hard to Look at this Portrait/What a Loss

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:14 AM

23. I was a freshman in college. That day, I was

leaving the dorm for my Biology 101 survey class lecture, and heard the news of the shooting on the TV in the dorm's lounge area. I watched for a few minutes, and then went to the lecture hall, where the class was already in session. I walked down to the front of the class, interrupted the prof, and announced that President Kennedy had been shot in Texas, and that the news was just coming in.

The professor dismissed the class immediately, and everyone headed for places where there were TVs. The dorm lounges, rec center areas, and every public area with a TV were jammed the rest of the day, as we waited for more news.

It was definitely another time. Dorm residents weren't even allowed to have TVs in their rooms. There were no computers, so the only place we could find out what was going on were in public areas. A strange silence was maintained in all of those places as we all waited for information. It was a bad day.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #23)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:25 AM

26. I, too, was a freshman in college that day. Buildings full of peole were silent while we watched TV

or listened to the radio. It was stunning.

Up until then, we were still living in the "50's". The "60's" really began with that assassination and so many things changed.

There was no longer the safety we had assumed was America.

As we've noticed before, the victims are nearly always (except perhaps for George Wallace), people on the political left who are killed.

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Response to SharonAnn (Reply #26)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:52 AM

41. Good observation about the 50s being over on that day.

I agree. The next year, I dropped out of college and joined the budding counterculture for a while.

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Response to SharonAnn (Reply #26)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 03:39 AM

96. I once decided to test that.

It was after a spate of small plane crashes that were amazingly convenient for the right. I combed Google for mentions of politically-connected small plane fatal crashes and made a little chart. I was stunned.

My little amateur list show only Democrats gong down in flames EXCEPT for one four-year period in which only Republicans crashed and burned. After which Democrats were once again unsafe to fly.

The fours years in which Republicans crashed coincided with the one-term presidency of George H. W. Bush.

I thought that was damned odd.

I wish someone would try to repeat my fumbling research and see if my findings looked as they did because I missed things I didn't know how to search for.

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Response to aquart (Reply #96)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:33 AM

102. I came across a website called "The Political Graveyard"

Is this where you did your research?

http://politicalgraveyard.com/

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Response to ailsagirl (Reply #102)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:04 AM

103. I don't think so.

I recall a lot of separate searches, not one site. But I wouldn't trust my memory on that, either.

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Response to SharonAnn (Reply #26)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 08:55 AM

99. I was laos a freshman in college

I was 16 and was a student at Laydcliff College ( a small catholic liberal arts college for women- - - I only stayed there for one year & then transferred to another college) in Highland Falls, NY......the campus of Ladycliff adjoined West Point....I was in French class that afternoon and the professor was called out of the class and came in crying - he was a Hungarian refugee. Our campus, because of its proximity to West Point was put under military lockdown. We were finally permitted to go home on that Sunday. I had tickets to a Smothers Brothers concert on the Saturday night (the 23rd) at West Point. The concert was cancelled and then was rescheduled for the following May...great concert....I came to understand why they were so anti-war....their father, a West Point graduate, was a killed in Korea. Istill wonder what might have been....

P.S. Jim Douglass' book is fantastic....a MUST read.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:15 AM

24. I remember this day well.....

I was in 9th grade and everyone was crying when they heard the news. Hard to believe it was 49 years ago and it's still pretty fresh in my memory. Also the 13th anniversary of my father's passing.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:24 AM

25. I saw him at the opening of Dulles Airport outside Washington

I still have a photo of him autographed and made out to me "with best wishes" on my 11th birthday in March 1963. My dad was able to get it done for me because Pierre Salinger was a neighbor of ours at the time. I still have that photo in its original frame from 1963 in my living room.

On Friday, November 22, 1963, we were in Friday afternoon assembly at my school in Washington, DC, when a teacher came in, sought out Bobby Kennedy Jr. and his older brother Joe. We all wondered what was going on, but no one told us. After assembly, I took a bus downtown, as I sometimes drove home with my dad, whose office was in the National Press Building at 14th and F Streets.

As I walked into the building, I saw huge headlines in the tabloids sold outside saying "JKF SLAIN." I thought it was just another "the Martians have landed" headline, only in poorer taste than usual. When I got up to my Dad's office, the phone was ringing off the hook, and he had three calls going at once. In between conversations, I told him what I had seen downstairs, and he confirmed it was no hoax, but true.

An era came to an end right then and there.

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Response to DFW (Reply #25)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 02:53 AM

95. Holy shit. Those are some memories!

Get them down on paper or video. For your descendants. Details are everything and details are what history loses first.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:29 AM

27. I'll never forget that day.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:29 AM

28. I was finally able to see the creepy place where they killed him.

Visiting there left me depressed for days and thinking about what could have been.

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Response to lonestarnot (Reply #28)

Sat Oct 12, 2013, 08:03 PM

104. I've seen it, too

Gave me the creeps, with good reason

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:30 AM

29. R.I.P. President Kennedy.


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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:31 AM

30. I'd just turned fifteen, yet the painful memory remains 49 years later.

RIP, President Kennedy. Oliver Stone is right. This anniversary date of his murder is the day that the military-industrial-espionage complex showed itself to be Americans' number one domestic enemy by murdering its commander-in-chief. I never trusted Arlen Specter again after he proffered his "single bullet theory" for leaders of the Warren Commission to dupe The People with. I'm glad he's dead. I never trusted Lyndon Johnson, either; no amount of civil rights legislation redeemed him for his complicity. Everyone knew they were both evil weasels. All National Archives records about this 'event' won't be completely opened until 2017, when all the guilty will likely be dead. I'd just turned fifteen, yet the painful memory remains 49 years later.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:31 AM

31. Exactly one week before my sweet 16th birthday

I remember.. can any of us that were here ever forget? I'm now crying.. time to get up and get our Thanksgiving together. This year we are thankful, grateful and relieved that the right wing of the conservative party hasn't managed a total takeover of our country in the last 49 years, but they sure have more power than they should.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:34 AM

32. This was 15 months before my birth...

but in reading the various histories, especially James Douglass' JFK & The Unspeakable, I've been given a sense of the enormity of the loss.

For anyone who has never heard this, prepare to weep:


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Response to Ochsfan (Reply #32)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 01:36 AM

89. Ignorance is everywhere & people have their way...

 

Last edited Fri Nov 23, 2012, 03:13 AM - Edit history (5)


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And the night comes again to the circle studded sky
The stars settle slowly, in loneliness they lie
'Till the universe explodes as a falling star is raised
Planets are paralyzed, mountains are amazed
But they all glow brighter from the brilliance of the blaze
With the speed of insanity, then he dies.

In the green fields a turnin', a baby is born
His cries crease the wind and mingle with the morn
An assault upon the order, the changing of the guard
Chosen for a challenge that is hopelessly hard
And the only single sound is the sighing of the stars
But to the silence and distance they are sworn

So dance dance dance
Teach us to be true
Come dance dance dance
'Cause we love you

Images of innocence charge him go on
But the decadence of destiny is looking for a pawn
To a nightmare of knowledge he opens up the gate
And a blinding revelation is laid upon his plate
That beneath the greatest love is a hurricane of hate
And God help the critic of the dawn.

So he stands on the sea and shouts to the shore,
But the louder that he screams the longer he's ignored
For the wine of oblivion is drunk to the dregs
And the merchants of the masses almost have to be begged
'Till the giant is aware, someone's pulling at his leg,
And someone is tapping at the door.

To dance dance dance
Teach us to be true
Come dance dance dance
'Cause we love you

Then his message gathers meaning and it spreads across the land
The rewarding of his pain is the following of the man
But ignorance is everywhere and people have their way
Success is an enemy to the losers of the day
In the shadows of the churches, who knows what they pray
For blood is the language of the band.

The Spanish bulls are beaten; the crowd is soon beguiled,
The matador is beautiful, a symphony of style
Excitement is ecstatic, passion places bets
Gracefully he bows to ovations that he gets
But the hands that are applauding are slippery with sweat
And saliva is falling from their smiles

So dance dance dance
Teach us to be true
Come dance dance dance
'Cause we love you

Then this overflow of life is crushed into a liar
The gentle soul is ripped apart and tossed into the fire.
First a smile of rejection at the nearness of the night
Truth becomes a tragedy limping from the light
All the (canons|heavens) are horrified, they stagger from the sight
As the cross is trembling with desire.

They say they can't believe it, it's a sacrilegious shame
Now, who would want to hurt such a hero of the game?
But you know I predicted it; I knew he had to fall
How did it happen? I hope his suffering was small.
Tell me every detail, I've got to know it all,
And do you have a picture of the pain?

So dance dance dance
Teach us to be true
Come dance dance dance
'Cause we love you

Time takes her toll and the memory fades
but his glory is broken, in the magic that he made.
Reality is ruined; it's the freeing from the fear
The drama is distorted, to what they want to hear
Swimming in their sorrow, in the twisting of a tear
As they wait for a new thrill parade.

The eyes of the rebel have been branded by the blind
To the safety of sterility, the threat has been refined
The child was created to the slaughterhouse he's led
So good to be alive when the eulogy is read
The climax of emotion, the worship of the dead
And the cycle of sacrifice unwinds.

So dance dance dance
Teach us to be true
Come dance dance dance
'Cause we love you

And the night comes again to the circle studded sky
The stars settle slowly, in loneliness they lie
'Till the universe explodes as a falling star is raised
Planets are paralyzed, mountains are amazed
But they all glow brighter from the brilliance of the blaze
With the speed of insanity, then he died.

--Phil Ochs, Crucifixion

Note:
Phil said that he wrote this song about JFK and "hero killing in general". He later said that it was about Christ, RFK, JFK, and MLK Jr.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:35 AM

33. Thank you for sharing.

I wonder what it would have been like to live during that era....

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:37 AM

34. K&R. n/t

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:40 AM

35. he's definitely missed here

imagine where we'd be without a "lone gunman" or the warren commission report.

His family was wealthy but somehow he touched the heart of the American spirit.

R.I.P. President John F. Kennedy.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:43 AM

37. RIP Mr. President

It was a coup de tat that changed our country.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:45 AM

38. RIP President Kennedy

One of the greatest President's in the past 100 years, murdered by his own country.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:47 AM

39. I will never forget that awful day.

I was on my way to Latin class when the news spread in the hallway. We were all stunned. My next class was Algebra, the teacher was crying so hard --we didn't have class. The days ensuing we just a horrible nightmare.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:48 AM

40. I was in high school

On my way from lunch to my fifth hour class. Saw the teachers gathered in the hall and some were crying. The principal came over the loudspeaker and announced that President Kennedy had been shot and had died. I remember feeling lost and wanting to be home with my parents. The ride home on the bus was silent except for some talking in very hushed murmers. My mom and dad were home in front of the television and that's where we stayed for the next three days. It was a dark, cold time. Then we lost MLK and Bobbie. I really didn't think we would survive these horrors as a country, and I hope that we never go through that experience again. Watching Lincoln last week, it brought back that gut wrenching feeling that those of us who lived through those dark days felt. Never again, never again.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:55 AM

42. Sigh.

You know, even in my bigoted 1960 white Baptist Dallas neighborhood, Kennedy won a little door to door election me and my neighbor friends conducted.. meaning that he was so charming that even some of the bigots would vote for him. Even my usually Republican, business-minded dad voted for him. Kennedy had a way of getting people to believe in hope and happy endings.. except that bubble was burst in a big way on that Black Friday in November 63. I was sitting in my sophomore high school class in Druid Hills (south South Oak Cliff area of Dallas) around 1pm when an announcement came over the loud speaker that Kennedy had been shot. We all went to the auditorium/chapel to wait it out. I sat with a classmate and we prayed the rosary until the final announcement came around 3pm that he was dead and we were all sent home.

I managed to get copies of Look and Life magazines, the newspaper, and a special booklet which I still have. When I look at them, I get such a weird feeling, the whole thing was so surreal and in some ways unreal, with the way it all went down afterwards, the police and jail incompetence in Dallas for instance, Officer Tippett being shot, Jack Ruby killing Oswald, and so on.

The broadcast news at the time was very classy, especially Cronkite. We were glued to the tv for days, and the funeral was so touching and symbolic. Joseph Campbell explained it for me on The Power of Myth, and I so appreciated that because at age 15, I didn't know what everything meant. Also, around 1984, I went to a Camelot Symposium at SMU where a panel of Kennedy cabinet members and newspeople spoke on the Kennedy admin: Sargent Shriver, Roger Hillsman, Ted Sorenson, David Halberstam, and others. That was truly great, and my mom's friend and I got to go on stage afterwards to meet and greet, especially memorable being shaking hands with Shriver while mom's friend gushed on and on about how much she admired Eunice. Shriver was very gracious and.. ermm.. tolerant at her gushing, let us say, lol.

Anyhow, the sixties, that was some decade for violence against our brave wonderful leaders: JFK, RFK, MLK Jr. I don't know that we've ever really recovered to this day, but Johnson did his best, greatly, to move the nation forward in the Kennedy-liberal spirit. We could use another spirit like that now!

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:56 AM

43. I was a High School Freshman.

I had been chosen to be an "office pagette" during 3rd period, and was, with a friend, running errands for the office personnel.

I was actually on the second floor when my Civics teacher came by and told me the news. I went back down and my friend and I were invited into the principal's office to follow the events on TV. We were in there when the announcement came that the president had died.

I looked at Principal Barry, and saw that he was crying as well as the rest of us. It was stunning. It is a moment in time I will never, ever forget.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:57 AM

44. I was born in '65 and named after him n/t

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:08 AM

45. I was in kindergarten. The teachers were so somber.

It was a scary sad day I'll never forget. How I loved my President and his beautiful children.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:09 AM

46. As a child I reached out and touched him

as he walked by me at a campaign rally in Springfield Illinois in 1960. I remember it as if it were yesterday. He will always live in my heart.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:13 AM

47. I was six. I remember this day and the days after ...

I was watching when Ruby shot Oswald.

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Response to Auggie (Reply #47)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:48 PM

74. I saw that too

and I was 8 and ....my goodness what a terrible thing to see live.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:30 AM

49. 49 years ago today...

...during the single phys ed hour of the semester devoted to "hygiene" (what they used to call sex education), Coach was nervously trying to explain the facts to the embarrassed boys when the announcement came over the P.A. That ended the discussion, and Coach never again revisited the topic. Which may help explain certain subsequent aspects of my love life.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:37 AM

50. K&R nt

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:37 AM

51. My earliest memories are of the funeral

Don't recall what my parents reactions were to the tragedy, they might have kept that hidden from us, but I remember the funeral on TV.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:41 AM

52. I was in english class--and I remember staring at the pa box in shock--certain that another student

had gotten to the box and was playing a very sick game. It was surreal--classes were not cancelled, but nobody got anything done. I spent the rest of the day in the school library, stunned, as were all my classmates.

the world changed that day, and NOT for the better. jfk, mlk, and rfk--imagine what our world would look like today.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:02 PM

53. WHO CAN SAY WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN?

Speculative history is consider by many historians to be a stupid exercise and massive waste of time. However, every year on Nov 22 and June 5, I still lament how much better the nation and world might have been had history gone differently.

* If JFK had not be murdered in 1963 and/or RFK had lived and gone on to win the White House in 1968, thousands of young Americans might not have needlessly died in the jungles of Vietnam in what amount to an international pissing
contest.

* There would not have been a reemergence of Richard Nixon and the creation of such cynicism about government after the abuse of power in the Watergate Affair and a young Dick Cheney and Karl Rove might not have gotten a start in their pathological lust for power.

* There might not have been Reaganomics, scapegoating unions, and a mentality that "Greed is Good".

* It is unlikely that 911 would have occurred and thus, there would not have been a George W Bush lying us into an immoral war in the Middle East and deregulating everything.

In the melancholy words of Aurthur Schlesinger Jr., "Who can say what might have been?"

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Response to chuckstevens (Reply #53)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:17 PM

58. We might have seen actual nuclear disarmament following JFK's likely re-election - n/t

 

Last edited Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:12 PM - Edit history (1)

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Response to chuckstevens (Reply #53)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:10 PM

65. Perhaps the Republicans would not have regained power

Imagine if Reagan had not destroyed America with his anti-union screed, "supply side" economics and the rise of the Religious Right. Hurts to think about it.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:12 PM

56. I remember that day

 

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:18 PM

59. I was in my 7th grade class in St. Petersburg, FL when the announcement was made....

....over the pa system. Almost immediately most of the class exhibited various stages of shock and grief, but about a quarter of the class began cheering and applauding the President's death. The rest of the day was a complete blur.

When I talked with my Dad later that night about what I had experienced at school, he explained that Florida had several military bases and just about all of the personnel hated JFK. He reasoned that most if not all of those kids in class were from military families. He also explained that Florida had a large Cuban-American population that also hated JFK. In short, lots of people wanted him dead.

That was my first real exposure to an underlying seam of right-wing hatred that has helped me identify people like that over the last 49 years. The faces have changed over the years, but the hatred is still just as strong as it has always been.

Farewell, Johnny....we barely got to know you.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #59)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 08:47 AM

98. Thanks for sharing that. Some of my 7th grade class began cheering too. This was in lower SC. nt

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:20 PM

60. I was at a Roman Catholic School in Tacoma, WA first grade

the announcement came at about 1130am right before..the nun lined us up and we immediately went to the church as a school body to pray...No lunch that day. After they announced he died, we prayed for about a half hour and then they dismissed school. Those who could walk home (lots less liability in those days) we sent home, busses were called in and those who had to get rides from carpools and parents were told to wait in the lunch room while lunch was served to them.

I remember being very sad, the spring before I was living in Frankfurt and Kennedy had come to Berlin. My family and I took a flight toi Berlin very early that morning and saw him. # months later I was in Tacoma and my parents pulled me out of school to see him appear in Tacoma at Cheney Stadium.

We had just come to Tacoma and didn't have a tv, so right after the radio announcement my parents had gone to a radio and tv store to rent a tv for the week. We got so enamored with the tv after the assassination coverage the rest of the week that we wound up buying a tv thus we slid into being culutrated as Americans.

THis was the first news item in my life that I cognizant of. The ensuing coverage of the the murder of Oswald, the lying instate and the funeral itself, let deep impressions upon me...as an older child I began to study Kennedy and fell in love with his founding of the Peace Corps and while not serving with them, became a misiionary teacher in Hong Kong and have spent my adult career in service work.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:20 PM

61. This thread has made me realize again how thankful I am for my elders on DU. I was just

 

a little boy of 4 when it happened and I remember nothing of the time. But seeing and reading the memories here has made me feel like I was actually present there.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:01 PM

64. I recall that Jacqueline Kennedy refused to change out of her bloody suit

because, as she said, "I want them to see what they have done." She had always maintained right up to her death that "Jack" was the love of her life. How poignant, and appropriate, that she was buried in Arlington, next to President Kennedy and the two infants they lost.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:18 PM

66. JFK's assassination was a defining moment of my life

Recognition of the date was my first thought this morning.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #66)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:47 PM

67. Me too

My cats awoke me at some ungodly hour (5:00 am) to be fed, and afterward, I didn't go back to bed until I posted this thread--it was something I just had to do.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:52 PM

68. K & R

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 06:48 PM

69. I was in 8th grade typing class

I can still remember it like it was yesterday. All weekend long, there was funeral music playing on one end of the dial to the other.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:09 PM

71. I was 7 years old in Catholic school..........

Father Walsh, who was newly ordinated came into my 2nd grade class. He asked us to kneel and then blessed us and we were told to go home. He and the pastor went to every classroom & did the same to each.

I walked home and saw so many adults on the street corners, in front of bars and stores all talking, some with radios. When I got home, Mom was there with the TV on listening to the news. My Dad came home about 2 hours later, he hugged mom and all 4 of us kids.

I remember watching the TV for the next few days up to and including the funeral, just mesmerized with what was happening.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:20 PM

72. RIP JFK.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:41 PM

73. Cut down in his prime

We'll never know what he could have achieved.

One thing's for sure. We'll never see his like again soon.

Thanks for posting, ailsagirl

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:48 PM

75. Good night, sir...

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:49 PM

76. I'm still coming to grips with what we lost when JFK died

His speech at American University:



Part 2:



I also remember, that in his last few weeks of life, he asked Premier Nikita Khrushchev to work with the US in the exploration of space, and that, Premier Khrushchev finally accepted. Where might we be in the exploration of the solar system if President Kennedy and Premier Khrushchev had been allowed work together?

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:10 PM

77. Junior year in Latin class

Announcement came over the PA that we should assemble in the auditorium. The principal gave us the news, and led us in prayer. No TVs in the school, but we got a radio broadcast. My sense of optimism, the sense that all of us together could make the world a better place, died that day. Not that I've given up--still raging against the dying of the light--just with a sense of the total indeterminacy of any outcomes.

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Response to eridani (Reply #77)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:19 PM

78. To which I would add this rejoinder:

 

"I have not lost faith. I'm not in despair, because I know that there is a moral order. I haven't lost faith, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

Martin Luther King, Jr. "Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam" (1967) -- Speech at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia (April 30, 1967)

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King,_Jr.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #78)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 01:39 AM

90. And he got killed for that as well. n/t

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:13 PM

81. I was getting my blood test for my marriage license.

My wedding was held the next week, and, even in Birmingham, Alabama, all were in mourning. I couldn't have a band play at my Bridesmaid luncheon and all the store windows were draped in black with a photo of JFK in the middle of the shroud. It was so sad and I will never forget it. Then for our honeymoon, we adjourned to New Orleans, where the streets were full of a lot of sadness and suspicions. Weird and scary, somewhat. But, we were so innocent, we did not find out that we were in a dangerous place to be until later. Ah, the innocence of youth.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:00 AM

82. Thanks ailsagirl. JFK's murder became the dividing line in the lives of a generation. I was 15.

I haven't gotten over it. I do remember that after Jack Ruby killed Oswald, nobody and I mean nobody thought the lone gunman theory was plausible. When the Warren Commission Report came out it was kind of shocking that they had wrapped it up so neatly with NO addiitional information that didn't square with one loner kills the president in view of the Dallas police department, and this loner killer is himself killed by a loser strip-joint operator, this time in the basement of the Dallas jail handcuffed to a couple of policemen. People were distracted to accept the "let's just agree to accept that we'll never know the truth" theory. There are holes in everybody's stories. Sets of "facts" that cannot be reconciled. What bothers me are the slick presentations that commercial media put forth to false-educate young people about this-or-that meaningless aspect of conspiracy theory, but ignoring the weight of evidence that this was blatant and clumsy political assassination. Clumsy enough that it received a clumsy cover-up as well. I trust that forensic advances will eventually reveal more information. In the meantime, that White House portrait says it all. I hope we have younger generations of people who are not willing to get over it, or let it go.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:01 AM

83. I brushed this off when I first read it

But I've been thinking about it all day. It was like a bright promise held out to us, then jerked away in the ugliest way imaginable. I don't believe history pivots around certain events, but it had that feel. Still does.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:50 AM

85. reading through these comments

I'm at a loss for words. I remember well. I was 6.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 01:30 AM

87. Highly recommended: "JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters,"

by James Douglass, 2008, Orbis/Maryknoll Books.

This is a profoundly healing book, especially for those who lived through it. It is not just a reiteration of all the awful details of the assassination, nor just a brilliant crime book (who did it?). It is also a brilliant treatise on the culture of militarism that infected our country then and still infects it--a culture so sick that hundreds of thousands of casualties on our own east coast was considered "acceptable" and ADVOCATED, in order to annihilate Russia, and that conspired to and murdered the president because he wouldn't agree and took another path (diplomacy, peace). This militarism is still with us, casually slaughtering hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq, without the slightest regard for their innocence, and is now drone-assassinating people all over the world, without the slightest regard for the rule of law--summary executions without benefit of trial, and with lots of "collateral damage."

It's a book full of understanding of then and now. He doesn't much go into now. He leaves it to us to see it for ourselves. But he so thoroughly documents how and why JFK was killed, that it heals the souls of those who mourn JFK--or healed mine, in any case--and sets you on your feet NOW, for a good, hard look at things NOW. It's like doing rehab, I guess. No more illusions. No more hiding. Face reality!

Great book!

Peace

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 01:35 AM

88. I remember exactly where I was

classes were cancelled and everyone went out to talk and cry, the girls from Juarez had to stay at shool that day because Mexico had closed the border in case the person who killed JFK might try to flee the county.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 01:41 AM

91. K & R !!!



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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 02:48 AM

94. I think it's clear that...

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Senator Robert Francis Kennedy are never far from our thoughts.



And many thanks to all who shared their thoughts with us on this special day.

Peace

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