JFK.. 50 Years Later

jfk speaksIn less than a week, we as a nation will remember the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. I was not alive at the time, having been born eight years later. However, I have been fascinated with all things JFK for most of my life. I am not alone. 50 years later, Kennedy continues to have a very strong grip upon us both as a country, and as a people. He was the young, charming, charismatic, handsome president. A slew of brand new books about the assassination alone have recently hit the shelves, to go alongside the numerous ones which have been previously written. His name has come up probably more than any other president within pop culture. From “Good Times” to “Sex in the City”, he’s been mentioned. He remains the one with an incomplete, unfinished legacy. How differently would the world be today had he not lost his life?

Some feel the story of the Kennedy assassination is old, and should be put to rest. I disagree with that. Whether you remember that tragic time or not, we all lost something.Those who remember the era of Camelot lost their leader within a matter of hours. For those of us who came along later, we were deprived of gettiing to know him at all, except via books and TV footage. It’s something we have been trying to duplicate for decades. From Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton to Barack Obama, we’ve compared them and their families with the Kennedys one way or another. However, there was something dynamic about JFK we have not seen since that time, which makes him nearly impossible to forget.

He was a flawed man. There were blunders made during his brief presidency. He didn’t have all the answers. He was on intense doses of medication in an effort to conceal his severe health problems. There were the other women. In spite of this, he remains one of our most beloved Presidents. Perhaps to some it makes him seem more human. To others, the way he lost his life overshadows all of that. I prefer to focus on his expertise during the Cuban Missile Crisis, creation of the Peace Corps, drafting of the civil rights bill, his decision not to accept a salary.

Whether you admire JFK, dislike him, or are indifferent towards him, this is a time for respect and reflection. In this fast-paced Twitter/ Instagram/ Facebook, i-phone society we live in, I am both pleased and surprised to see the extensive amount of programs being shown on TV in his honor during this time.  Allow him to have this moment in the spotlight. It is something so many of us need, and something he deserves.

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~ by kmnnz on November 16, 2013.

4 Responses to “JFK.. 50 Years Later”

  1. My father, a PT skipper during WWII, was a lifelong Democrat and admirer of JFK – beyond their shared experience in the South Pacific. A highly conservative friend recently voiced his own agreement that John Kennedy was indeed a charismatic man who drew so many to acknowledge his unique force as a man and a President.

  2. Kelli,
    I was 17, walking from the main building of my high school to one of the “Temporary” classrooms when I heard the news. Like most people from my generation, I still remember that exact moment vividly.

    I’ve lived in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area for 40+ years and am particularly familiar with Oak Cliff because my son went to Jr. High there, moved there after college, and still lives there today. Many, many times I’ve passed by the boarding house where Lee Harvey Oswald was living just before, and on the day, John Kennedy was killed.

    In 2002, as an assignment in a Graduate English Course at the University of North Texas, I wrote a short story called, “Lee Harvey’s House”. I imagined that a Jr. High-aged boy named Danny, living in the same neighborhood, also passed by that house every day on his way to school. He’s befriended by a tough new kid, Frankie, who’s been sent by his mother from Brooklyn to live with his Uncle – in the same rooming house.

    As a sign of their growing friendship, Frankie gives Danny a Subway token. Later, that token is snatched from Danny by a man sitting on the front porch of the rooming house. While attempting to get the token back, Frankie climbs through a window into the man’s room and gets the token. Back outside, he tells Danny about a rifle and pictures of President Kennedy that he saw in the room. Realizing that the President is coming to Dallas in 2 days, Danny wants to let someone know what they saw. Frankie knows that to do that, they’ll have to admit that he committed burglary and that he’ll be sent to reform school. Danny is faced with deciding between protecting his friend or possibly preventing a tragedy.

    History tells us what he decided.

    If you think the story might interest you, I’d like to send it to you.

    Stan Ratliff
    214-755-3100
    stanratliff@verizon.net

    • Hi Stan!

      So very nice to meet you. 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to share your memories. I would really like to read your story. Please send it to me at- kelli.nnz@gmail.com

      I look so forward to reading it! I’m so glad you stopped by. 🙂

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