It is hard to believe that it will be 50 years ago this Friday (November 22) that President John Kennedy was publicly assassinated. Being only 22 years old, September 11, 2001, is the only thing I can compare to the tragedy that unfolded that day in 1963. People always have that moment burned into their memory of what they were doing the minute President Kennedy was murdered. A shocked country remained tuned into their televisions to see the events unfold.
Looking back from 2013, it is amazing to me how long it took for the information to get out about what happened. This was an era before 24-hour broadcast news, internet and social media, and cell phones. It took time to take in what occurred and collect the details. The FBI and Secret Service had to find people who may have filmed it, taken a picture, or just have witnessed the assassination. What if all the technology we have now was available 50 years ago? How might the online social sphere have looked?
November 22, 1963, was a day that changed America. It is a sin in the history field to look at the “what if” angle. What if Kennedy had lived? How could our lives have been different now? I think about the impact the event had on the people who were there and watched what unfolded. Has their experience been fully understood? Had there been instant communication, like Facebook and Twitter, would their stories be different? On the 50th anniversary let us remember the life and legacy of the man who was once our 35th president.
Where were you on 11/22/63? What do you remember about that day, and how did you feel? What are your reflections on what happened 50 years ago?