Posts Tagged ‘Assassination’

By E. P. Ned Burke

It was 12:30 PM in Dallas, Texas, when a suspected fatal bullet whisked through the November 22nd sky, shattering the cranium of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Since that time, the volume of words written about this man–and the events leading up to and after the assassination–have been so astronomical as to defy description.

So any further dissertation regarding this sad event in our history would be anti-climatic.

However, for me and those who lived through those terrifying hours, there is always something yet to be said.

Ironically, in his last speech, Kennedy noted: “This is a dangerous and uncertain world … no one expects our lives to be easy … not in this decade, not in this century.”

And truly, since that fateful afternoon, we in this country have found our lives and our times more uncertain than ever before. It is almost as though that deadly projectile which destroyed that youthful brain also demolished the gentle and kind heart of this great country.

Dark days followed in rapid succession soon after John Kennedy’s lifeless body was wheeled from Trauma Room One of the Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

Even before his remains were laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery, Lee Harvey Oswald, the suspected assassin, was shot to death in full view of millions of television viewers. Decent Americans were shocked beyond comprehension.

When President Kennedy died, it was, as Senator Mike Mansfield so eloquently put it: “A piece of each of us died.”

Sadly, it is true. We, as a kind and civilized people, have stepped backward instead of forward since that tragic event in 1963.

The senseless killings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy added further to the erosion of our moral fiber and in our belief of the inherent goodness of man. And the gruesome 9/11 terrorist attack, the endless conflicts, needless war casualties, outright political corruption, and blatant corporate greed have left us numb.

Today, I see a more violent and angry population with little tolerance or compassion for one another. Human kindness is lacking in many of our young people and, sadly, in some of our senior citizens as well.

I know I will never regain the hope and innocence I had at twenty. That tragic day fifty years ago took it away from me forever. However, I still feel there is time to start anew.

For as John F. Kennedy once said: “Neither wind nor tide is always with us. Our course on a dark and stormy sea cannot always be clear. But we have set sail … and the horizon, however cloudy, is also full of hope.”

So let’s all pray for a better tomorrow … before it’s too late.


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