Today Marks 50 Years Since the Assassination of JFK

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The number of people around to discuss ‘where were you …’ when Kennedy was killed dwindles by the year, but his assassination stands as a significant place in time and event in the history of our nation to this day. Today marks the 50th anniversary of the tragic event.

Personally, I wasn’t born yet (I’d arrive about 2.5 years later) – but my older brother John was about 5 weeks old and my parents were in their early 20s. Living in Natick, but both born and raised in Randolph, they were definitely a Boston-centric family – and totally part of the ‘Kennedy generation’.

As a result I grew up with the Kennedy family as part of my life, a backdrop of growing up. Reading the writings and about the life of JFK, learning more about him in school than kids in other parts of the country.

One thing that always struck me was the 1960 election – it was very, very close … and many call shenanigans on the part of various political machines. Some say Nixon could have fought the results in some key areas and perhaps won the election – but he chose not to do that for the sake of the country. That seems like such a foreign concept now – because we KNOW that would never happen now … I mean, look at 2000. And I see that difference as key to the problems in our country – the inability to put the good of the nation and its people before short-sighted political point-winning.

Kennedy made plenty of mistakes, but much of what he did showed his greatness as a leader, willing to stand up for what he believed in regardless of ruffling feathers. He made strides in both ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ areas – because he fought for all Americans.

What are YOUR Kennedy memories?

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2 thoughts on “Today Marks 50 Years Since the Assassination of JFK

  1. I was in school and remember them letting us go home early, on the way home (as a townie – we all walked back then), but it was eerily quiet around town. Everyone just hurried home, no playing around and even the usual bullies didn’t bother anyone.

    I went to my grandparents as usual and my grandfather was home already. He had on the old B&W TV and was watching/listening to Walter Conkrite. He was a WWII vet and later that day we went to Bud’s Shop ‘N Save to get some groceries, but it was closed.

    He talked with a few his buddies while I waited in the car and then he and my grandmother drove me to my house, usually I just walked home. As a 6 year old, I didn’t really know what was happening, but I knew that the adults were upset and my gramps was scared.

    Later I learned that he thought it was a prelude to WWIII and so did a lot of his buddies, who were also WWII vets. It was a scary few days, because they were preparing for the worst.

  2. In a lot of ways what they were thinking makes sense – we were so focused on ‘the commies’ at that point, tensions so high over Cuba and escalating over Vietnam, that comparing the likelihood of an outside assassination versus one from a citizen seems trivial.

    It is funny as kids how we key in on adults ‘not acting as expected’, even if we really have no idea why.

    Also another interesting perspective on your complex relationship with your grandfather. 🙂

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