Just as all Americans of my generation, the day President John F. Kennedy was shot is embedded in my mind. I too remember where I was when the unexpected and tragic news was made known. I happen to be in school at Metairie Junior High when Coach Palone made the announcement that President Kennedy had been shot.
It is hard to believe fifty years have passed since that fateful moment in Dallas. President Kennedy´s death marked a moment in time that changed the United States of America forever. Until then, we were a clean cut, skinny ties and white shirt crowd with the Kookie Burns hair style – Edward Byrnes of Seventy Seven Sunset Strip fame. It seems that we lost our innocence as a nation that day; having long hair, smoking pot and wearing scruffy clothing became the 1960´s fashion.
When people die young, they seem to become frozen in our minds with youthful faces and the energetic force only young people seem to possess. President Kennedy is, and will remain, a forever young, tall, good looking war hero, who never aged, never lost his boyish looks or his full head of hair. He epitomizes what could have been, our lost youth and our lost innocence. The tragedy of his death, the way it occurred, shot at the zenith of his life as opposed to an old man at the end of the road, makes it even more heartbreaking.
President Kennedy heralded a new vision for America upon his election. It was a new and young force that entered Washington with a can do attitude. Americans knew then that great changes in civil rights were inevitable, that space exploration was there for the taking, that the Peace Corps was a project worthy of American generosity abroad… so many promises that ended on November 22nd at the end of a rifle pointed out of a window in Dallas.
Of course, the conspiracy theories, which state there was more than one shooter, have never died. In fact, they seem to be growing. The Warren Commission report seems to have a growing number of disbelievers. Every day more people question the veracity of the report. It seems to me that we will never know the answer of what truly happened that morning in Texas.
New Orleans was so much at the center of that historic event. Oswald was a son of our great city . Who would of known he would go on to be intertwined in Kennedy´s last moments alive. Much has been said and done in the regard. You might be interested in a NOLA.com article today. See the link bellow.
I for one will forever remember that day and the consequences of Kennedy´s death to America. Who knows what would have happened in Vietnam if he had remained president. Would he had pulled out the advisors early on and not engaged in that war, as so many now claim he would have? If Kennedy had not been shot, would Bobby and Martin Luther King have lived simply because the assassination trend would have never continued? Theres so many questions what will sadly remain unanswered.