If you are in your fifties or older, you have probably heard it for the past fifty years at this time every November. Where were you when John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States was assassinated in Dallas? As a young boy in Springfield, MO the death of Kennedy did not directly affect us. As a Christian the death of anyone should cause us to stop and reflect.
Staying home from school because you are sick means you get to lay on the couch and watch TV. In the sixties there was no PBS and most of the children’s programming was off by mid morning. Mom was watching As The World Turns when Walter Cronkite made the announcement. A documentary since the death of Cronkite has provided us with insight on why the first words on the assassination from CBS were just that. Uncle Walter broke in with only the audio because there was no camera in the newsroom that day. Fortunately by the time the President’s death was officially confirmed, the video was available and the nation saw one of the most famous scenes in history. Walter Cronkite almost breaking up over the announcement he had to make on live television.
Many more years of watching television news people has shown the high standards to which they hold themselves. Especially Cronkite and the CBS news staff. They were there for us as the President’s body was taken through the streets of Washington. Millions across the country watched as he was laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery and the eternal flame on the grave was lit.
The young brothers watched all of this as it unfolded because school was canceled for the funeral. The haunting comment still remains vivid of Vice-President Johnson bemg sworn into office as one of the brothers pointed at the black & white TV and proclaimed, “That’s the man that killed the President.”
Over the past fifty years much has been revealed about that terrible day. What is still not known and may never be is who might have conspired with the shooter in this assassination.