22 November, 2013

November 22, 1963

I just happened to look down at the clock on my computer screen as it turned to 12:00 Midnight, November 22, 2013, and suddenly I felt old. In an instant it hit me... for those of us who were alive on that day, 50 years ago today, November 22, will always take us back to 1963. I was only 4 years old... but I remember it vividly. I was sick with the mumps and my dad was at home with me in the living room when the story came across the television, "President Kennedy has been shot."  Life was different in 1963. You did not hear about people being shot very often, so that news alone was something that made time stand still for all of us. I was a couple of months shy of being 5, and I'm not going to say that I understood all of it, but I remember this... it shook my daddy to his core. I can still see him, at first standing in the living room, then finally sitting on the edge of his chair with tears welled up in his eyes. I don't recall seeing dad upset like that often, and seeing him like this scared me. I remember crying, not because of the President being shot... but because I saw that strong man that I idolized shaken. Dad had me come over and sit with him and I swear as I type this I can still feel him rubbing the back of my neck and shoulders and telling me everything was OK. I knew it wasn't... but I really did not grasp the full magnitude of what my father was feeling that day for another 5 years when to our nations horror, we witnessed the murders of Martin Luther King, Jr and Bobby Kennedy. Suddenly, the memories of 1963 came back to me, and ever since that time, I've been somewhat obsessed with the Kennedy assassination, reading nearly every article or book and watching nearly every movie I ever found. 

At the age of 4, November 22, 1963 became a permanent scar, etched in my memory.

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