Sunday, November 17, 2013

November 22, 1963

In September of 1963 I was a sophomore entering a newly opened High School in north Seattle.  I had spent my first year of high school at Ingraham also in north Seattle but much further from my house.   The new school, Nathan Hale High School, was in walking distance from my home and we were very optimistic about the future as the new school started.  In fact, the whole country was in a country was in a state of optimism.

Our country had a new, young President.  The first Catholic and the youngest elected president in the history of the country.  A war hero.  He had a vision.  He had a young family.  A very young and beautiful wife, Jackie, became one of the most popular presidential wives in history even though she was a private person and held her family close.  Everything was perfect.  A man with vision to direct the country into a future that all Americans were seeking.

In a flash in November of 1963 everything changed.  The country was shocked by the assignation of John F Kennedy by Lee Harvey Oswald.  The country stopped to mourn the loss of a man with a vision of how America should move into the last part of the 20th century  Were it not for his sudden death we may very well have become a different country but cynicism replaced optimism and we are living with the results of it 50 years later.

J.F.K. and his family have been the subject of many studies, reports, books and memoirs.  One has to wonder what would have happened had he lived.

"Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country?"

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