Tuesday, November 22, 2016

November 22, 1963

I know within a few feet of where I was sitting just after lunch on November 22, 1963. My physical education class met at that time in the old stone gymnasium behind the high school. 

There were about 20 rows of bleachers that went from floor level up to the huge windows. As
I sat on about the 12 row awaiting for the coaches, whistle signaling that class had begun. I passed the time by watching several of my friends shooting hoops. The reverberating sound of squeaking tennis shoes and basketballs bouncing on a hardwood floor echoed off the stone walls. 

Suddenly, a kid that lived not far from me ran into the gym screaming at the top of his lungs - "Kennedy's dead. Somebody shot the president." It sounded almost as if he were happy. 

I struggled to wrap my 12-year-old brain around what he was saying. But as word spread among those in the gym, the shoes stopped squeaking, and the ball stopped bouncing. It took a while for the echo to stop reverberating.

An overwhelming sense of sadness overcame me. The kids talked in hushed tones. The PE teacher came in and confirmed that what the kid said was true. President Kennedy died in Dallas, Texas. 
The next few days were a jumble. But on the following Monday, the high school watched the funeral in the auditorium. When I saw John F. Kennedy's baby boy step up and salute his daddy's coffin as it passed, I cried. When I found the face of the kid that announced the news on Friday, he was crying too. 

I think our country changed that day. The innocence of the 50s was lost in a wisp of smoke from the barrel of a rifle in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.

14 comments:

  1. I had just been born the summer before Kennedy was murdered ... yet his death touched me over the years... I do welled up seeing the old clips of his son saluting his father... Such a sad time xox

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was just preparing to go to lunch at Pueblo Jr. High's cafeteria when the announcement came over the P.A. Having no reference on which to fall back, it all seemed slow-mo, surreal.

    Still, I can close my eyes and I'm right there, age 13 and frightened. Thank you for this mention, when so many seem to have forgotten.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was home with my three young children. I was stunned, almost incoherent, for several days.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Any public figure knows in his subconcience that he might get assassinated either by opponents or by a lunatic. 21 years ago our P.M. was assassinated. His memorial has sadly turned into some kind of yearly festival and opportunity to accuse the opposition.

    Security people are supposed to prevent these tragedies but they're mostly incompetent, and besides there can be almost no complete place sterilization.
    The killer is in prison for life , but has been allowed to marry, bring a child, study etc..all according to the rules of good ,new liberalism.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Any public figure knows in his subconcience that he might get assassinated either by opponents or by a lunatic. 21 years ago our P.M. was assassinated. His memorial has sadly turned into some kind of yearly festival and opportunity to accuse the opposition.

    Security people are supposed to prevent these tragedies but they're mostly incompetent, and besides there can be almost no complete place sterilization.
    The killer is in prison for life , but has been allowed to marry, bring a child, study etc..all according to the rules of good ,new liberalism.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I was going to lunch at school. It was a day that no one can forget. It was as if our country was frozen for that week and nothing else was happening except the assassination. Even the swearing in of President Johnson was a small footnote.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I was not around yet but this is a pivotal moment in history when everyone knew where they were when they heard the news. It is a very sad time and when i see that little boy, I am sad knowing that he is no longer here either

    ReplyDelete
  8. I was not born yet but the stories are so real. I actually have the newspaper of that day.
    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  9. I remember that day well. My mother came into my bedroom and told me she had just heard it on the radio. Even in my half awake state I knew it was a terrible thing.

    Alphie

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think I'm fortunate because I don't remember learning that the president had been killed (I was four). I do remember the funeral procession playing over and over on the TV, but it made an impression on me only because my dad explained the riderless horse to me. So at least that's one tragedy in my lifetime that I didn't truly experience. There have been plenty since then.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
  11. I can recall the moment I heard. I'll never forget.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Like most, I can remember sounds and sights on my 7th gr. classroom. Silence. The whole day was silent.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I was only a year old so remember nothing

    ReplyDelete
  14. I was on my way tot he grocery store with the radio on. Strange how some events are indelible. Very sad time.

    ReplyDelete

Please consider sharing

Email Signup Form

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required