Thursday, November 21, 2013

50 Years Ago

On November 22, 1963, I was a seventh grader in a Catholic school. It had started out as an ordinary day, but that soon changed. Our principal came into our classroom and announced that President Kennedy had been shot, and that the entire student body would immediately go into the church to pray for the President and his family.

Soon after we returned to our classroom, someone brought a radio to our teacher's desk where we heard an update about the President. We were all in shock, and many of us were crying, especially when the announcement was made that the President had died. It was difficult to understand how something so terrible could happen to someone so young like President Kennedy.

The next few days, my family, and the nation were glued to the television. It was all so unbelievable and so very sad. We watched every interview and report surrounding President Kennedy and his family.

On Sunday morning, November 24th, 1963, my brother and I were watching television before we went to church. The news was showing Lee Harvey Oswald being taken out of a building and into a car. We watched in horror as Oswald was shot on live television. We yelled for our parents and told them what happened.

On Monday, November 25th, schools and businesses across the country were closed for the funeral of President Kennedy.  We watched the entire funeral on our black and white television. The streets of Washington, D.C., were lined with sobbing mourners. We saw Caroline and John-John with their mother, Jacqueline Kennedy, and then watched John-John salute. It was more than we could bear.

Fifty years later, and we still grieve and remember.