November 22, 1963.....one of those days that I will always remember exactly where I was and what the day was like. If any of you, who are reading this, were alive at that time then I know you remember as well.
I was in 7th grade at the junior high school in my hometown. Lunch had ended and we had returned to our homeroom classes when the announcement came over the intercom. I cannot remember the exact words but I remember what the subject was about.
"John F. Kennedy, the President of the United States of America has been shot."
At the time of the announcement I do not remember if we knew that he had died. But school was immediately dismissed and we were all sent home. We went to my grandparent's house, because they had a TV. And we were glued to the TV. Well the adults were. I think everyone was terrified We had to sit and be very quiet because that is what we were told to do.
I remember seeing Jackie Kennedy in that pink Chanel suit with the pill-box hat. We didn't know it was pink at the time because the TV was black and white. I don't think anyone we knew had color TV yet. Jackie was so glamorous
Everyone thought so. And the President was so young and so handsome. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I heard people say, "he was so young". And I remember thinking, "dead is dead, no matter how old you are."
The conversations I can remember going on around us usually centered around the Russians. My grandfather was convinced at that time that it was the Russians who killed our president and we would soon be at war.
I don't know when we saw the images of Vice-President Johnson, on board the plane that was bringing the fallen President home, with Jackie at his side still wearing that same pink suit (later to be said that it was stained with the blood of the president); taking the oath that made him the President of The United States of America. But this is one of the images I see when I think of this day.
The funeral took place on November 25, 1963 and once again we were in front of the TV. It was a time of mourning for the entire world. Schools, offices, and factories were closed. They say that the streets of America were empty. If people were not in front of their TVs they were in their churches, praying for the assassinated leader of America. I will forever remember Little John saluting his father's casket shortly after it was carried down the front steps of the church and placed on the horse drawn carriage that would take his remains to Arlington Cemetery.
That was a long, long time ago. 50 years ago this year. I was but a girl of 12. My whole life was yet in front of me. The United States would never be the same. RIP President John F. Kennedy!
Read my other posts about 30 Days of Thanksgiving here.