It might not be marked on a calendar, but today is an anniversary few will miss. It’s the anniversary of a day a generation wishes it could forget but can’t.
It’s the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Every detail of that day is indelibly etched into the minds of anyone who was alive on Nov. 22, 1963.
It’s a day that still leaves a generation mournful and numb. It’s a day an entire nation felt the pain of the assassin’s gun.
The firing of that gun is a moment that changed a generation. It is a moment when time froze in place and hasn’t moved since in the memories of many. As you swift through our readers’ memories of that day throughout today’s paper, you’ll find it’s a moment that’s as fresh now as it was 50 years ago.
You’ll see how readers remember the minute details of that day. In the days following Kennedy’s death, they say, it seemed as if time slowed down.
It was a moment in which so much was loss. Not just in Kennedy’s death, but in the hope and inspiration he had instilled in our nation.
He was able to focus the country’s attention beyond war to a vision of peacetime potential. The blueprints for the nation’s civil rights revolution, Head Start, Medicare and the Peace Corps were all Kennedy’s dreams. Many of his dreams have been realized. For some, we seem to lose sight of his path.
Kennedy hit office with these dreams and others squarely in his targets. In his inaugural address, he pointed minds to the stars and gave the nation a deadline to achieve a goal it wasn’t certain could be reached.
It was Kennedy who asked Americans to ask what they could do for their country, but who also provided a plan for what the American government had to do for the country and the world — another dream we’ve lost sight of.
So on Nov. 22, 1963, we didn’t just lose our president. We lost our visionary. Our tomorrow.
For those who shared the belief in Kennedy’s destiny, his legacy will live on and Nov. 22 will forever be more than just another cold November day.
THE ISSUE The 50th anniversary of Kennedy's death OUR VIEW It's a day many will never forget.