We’ve reached another milestone in our country’s history–the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Though I was not alive at the time at this time in history for this tragic event, it would be a lie to say that what is known as the “Fall of Camelot” has not impacted me.
The big question, though, is why? Why would the death of a person I don’t know or haven’t seen personally, or who didn’t even live in these same decade as me have such an impact on my life? These are difficult questions, but I’m going to take a stab at them.
For those of you who don’t know, I’m now a history/social studies teaching major. I find ties to the meaning of historic event significant. I’ve taken particular interest in the Kennedy assassination for a number of years now, reading several books on the subjecting, including various conspiracy theories. I also own the eight-episode docudrama film series that came out a few years ago titled “The Kennedys” — if you haven’t seen these, I highly recommend them. They can tell the story way better than I can.
I was recently watching NBC Nightly News this week as they’ve ran special reports from different perspectives on where people were when President Kennedy was assassinated. The two segments that I saw included one of the Secret Service agents who jumped on the back of the car after the shots were fired…. living with this memory for 50 years must be a never ending nightmare. The second was a local bystander who captured the image as the President’s car was right in front of her… also a horrifying moment to witness right before your eyes.
Though I have not made my way to Texas to the assassination site, which one day I hope to, I have visited the eternal flame in Washington D.C.’s Arlington National Cemetery. Visiting sites like this one instill a sense of appreciation for your country’s history and historic figures. The eternal flame, a symbol for the memories that will carry on as they have for the past 50 years.