Not just any Nov 22nd…

It's an anniversary of a date that brings back memories of huge proportions.

If you were alive 50 years ago and old enough to remember where you were on this date, you remember why today is so important to you and to this country.

On that unforgettable Friday afternoon at 1:36 Eastern time the world learned that President John F. Kennedy was dead and this country would mourn the loss like nothing else mattered in the world for the four days that followed.  The assassination of our U.S. President would rock the world from that time forward, politics aside.

Mrs.. Kennedy received hundreds of thousands of messages of sympathies, leaders from the corners of the world mourned the death, as did regular citizens from countries around the globe.

A small school newspaper called "The Prince" published a two page special edition that included a list of services where students could express their sorrow too.  The president of Princeton University wrote a strong statement along with the editors calling for Kennedy's death to "be taken as a rallying cry for the rule of law, of reasoned strength, most important, of unity--for which until Nov.22, 1963, he stood."

Kennedy had spoken many times on the Princeton campus, as a U.S. Senator.  And some even remembered "Ken's" short time as a Tiger undergrad in 1935.  According to the story, he had been ill then and only stayed for less than two months.

"It got too tough for me here," he once joked, "so I transferred to Harvard."

The man had a sense of humor, among so many other wonderful attributes.

We remember him today.

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Kathie Scott November 23, 2013 at 9:26 am

I was 11 at the time and I was glued to the tv for the entire time. I was just a kid but that was the first time in my life that my heart felt truly broken.

Maureen (Mo) November 22, 2013 at 7:21 pm

I posted this poem, which I wrote earlier today. I had turned 11 only a couple of weeks before Kennedy's murder. Sea stars are what we used to call starfish; the papers have had articles about their wasting disease. I was struck by what we are losing now, and what we lost then.

Last Wave

The flame burns, even
as our sea stars are dying.

November bears too much
change, summer having slipped

into an autumn freeze. Some
of us can’t forget how it plays,

that day, the sequence of shots
as the limo rounds the corner

and his hands go up but not
like in that last wave he gave us.

Laurie Singer Sievers November 22, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Beautifully put always.

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