It was 50 years ago today that I walked out of my third/fourth grade classroom. The buses were lined up at the curb of our small school in Northford Connecticut. As I was walking down the hall I met my teacher Mrs. Clapp in the hallway. Tears were in her eyes. She grabbed my shoulders gently and said “The President has been shot.” It was a long ride home. Not that long later the President of the United States had died in Dallas.
I was 8 years old. I cried for days. I remember sitting in our country home’s kitchen with my mom and dad both crying and I was sobbing. Like most of the nation we watched the black and white TV screen showing everything about this young president, John F. Kennedy. Like so many others we just could not believe it. Because it was a weekend (He was shot on Friday.) there was no other calling. Our small family sat around the TV.
There was no internet (Al Gore was not around yet.) and there were no cell phones. The nation watched on TV’s across the nation or listened to the history being made by AM radio. Hardly a one does not remember that fateful day. Where they were, what they were doing.
I cried as I watched “John boy” salute his father at a mass on Monday. What would I do without my father?
We were a nation in crisis. The blindfolds had been ripped off and the results not pretty. My generation had real enemies we faced and good and bad were easy to discern. We were not inundated daily with horror and desensitized by death, blood and mayhem. Continue reading The Changing Of A Nation