Saturday, November 22, 2008

Watching my teacher cry

Ask older people what they were doing when they learned that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 and they'll have a quick answer. I was in the third grade at Fruitridge Elementary School on the playground during recess on a Friday afternoon when hearing the news.

As a third grader more concerned with recess playing time, I might have blinked an eye upon hearing the news at best. After recess, I remember sitting in my classroom desk watching my teacher crying in front of the classroom telling us again that President Kennedy had been assassinated.

I also remember watching the non-stop television coverage of this terrible moment in American history on the black and white television we owned. Every channel covered this tragic event nonstop and all regular television programs were cancelled for days.

This was a period in my life when every Saturday morning I would wake up early and watch the Original Superman show on television. I remember that Friday night being concerned that it might not be on the following morning because of the nonstop television coverage. Superman was pretty high on my priority list in those days.

I remember waking up early the next morning and anxiously waiting for the time that the Superman show aired; much to my expected disappointment it didn't. I still have vivid memories watching President Kennedy's casket, covered with an American flag, being transported by a horse-drawn carriage in a procession down a street. It may have been Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. but I'm not sure.

It's amazing how taking a moment to reflect on days like this gives me an appreciation for the life I have lived and memories of my childhood. I still like Superman and on days like this I like to pause and say a prayer for the departed soul of President John F. Kennedy, wondering if he is in Heaven looking down on our great nation that entrusted him with the highest honor of serving his country as President.

I'll always remember November 22, 1963, the day President Kennedy was assassinated, sitting in my classroom desk and watching my teacher cry.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum


Charles Long said...

I'm too young to remember. I was 2 1/2 at the time. I do remember my mom telling me she cried when she heard the news.

Pierini Fitness said...

Hi Charles,

Crying was a very common response. Interesting is that yesterday I talked to a 94-year old man and he told me that people cried when President Franklin Roosevelt died.

Charles Long said...

I wonder how many will cry when Bill Clinton dies. My sisters cried when Elvis died. A girl I dated in high school cried whenever some celeb overdosed. I cried when my sister committed suicide.