This was how we felt in 1962.
And in 1963.
We meaning Trinidadians?
I just watched Errol Morris' fascinating little film on today's nytimes front page.
At this time of day fifty years ago, we were all in total shock and disbelief.. I'll watch the Tom Brokaw show tonight on NBC. Almost everyone knows where they were. I have friends emailing me and telling me their stories. It's funny how this event stamped a perfect picture of that day, the look on my baby's face, the weather outside, the kids walking home from school looking shell shocked. The saddest national day ever followed by three more days. .
It really was so awful, that awful day. A stunning end to a life that might have held even more promise than it had already fulfilled.
It was truly awful. But I have little desire to relive that collective national trauma unfolding again in archival footage. I watched in it real time.
I would hope, though, that those too young to have experienced what we did will watch and come away with more of an historical perspective than simply Kennedy "was a President who was killed".
I was a suckling babe at the time. Oddly, I don't recall that either Kennedy was a major social concern where I was growing up, don't recall my parents or other adults talking about it. The war, OTOH, was massively momentous, I remember my mother showing me the pictures of the soldiers who participated in the massacre and telling me what monsters they were.
duluth, IMO itÃ¢ÂÂs important to recall these events if only to preserve the sense of history they invoke in younger viewers. ItÃ¢ÂÂs no different to me than in watching documentaries about the Civil War or old footage from WWII. I saw the film The Butler and many historical issues were telescoped into the film in a way that, if not entirely historically accurate in relation to the butler himself, were historically accurate as to the period the movie encompassed.
I think that many Americans do not have a strong sense of the countryÃ¢ÂÂs history in anything like concrete terms. Teh more of this kind of stuff that folks watch and think about the better, at least to me.
I don't believe I questioned the importance of presenting these films/programs and any accompanying commentary or downplayed the historical significance. My post was a bit of the personal - that bit of self I seldom, if ever, put forth on a public forum.
I spent those days with the ever present lump in the back of my throat and impossible to stifle sobbing and in wonder of how this horrible event could happen. Fifty years is almost too close.
I sobbed again last night when one of the MSNBC programs played a bit of Lady Bird Johnson's audio diary on meeting Jackie in a Parkland Hospital hallway ..
"Suddenly I found myself face to face with Jackie in a small hallwayÃ¢ÂÂ¦ You always think of someone like her as being insulated, protected. She was quite alone. I don't think I ever saw someone so much alone in my life," Lady Bird would write in her diary. "I went up to her, put my arms around her, and said something to her. I'm sure it was something like 'God, help us all,' because my feelings for her were too tumultuous to put into words."
When President Kennedy was killed, Mary McGrory said to Pat Moynihan, Ã¢ÂÂWeÃ¢ÂÂll never laugh again.Ã¢ÂÂ
And Moynihan, who later became a U.S. senator, replied, Ã¢ÂÂMary, weÃ¢ÂÂll laugh again, but weÃ¢ÂÂll never be young again.Ã¢ÂÂ
Pretty much sums it up, I think.
I thought I could get thru the Brokaw show on JFK tonight without crying, but as usual it didn't happen. MY generation was there...mostly famous contemporaries who spoke eloquently about where they were ,and to a person none of us forget every nuance on that terrible day.
I lost it again at the playing of the Navy hymn and the shot of a sweet young Bill Clinton shaking the president's hand when he was 16. Looking at that shot of two of my favorite politicians of all times, I felt really proud to be a democrat. The only moment of this show that was ugly was showing Pat Buchanan who tried to denigrate JFK by speculating what he would have done if he lived.
He will always be that handsome charismatic forever young man. My generation's great hope, and as Chris Matthews said we all participated in electing him and then just like that he was taken from us. To watch the old black and white footage of the kids, Black Jack, the caisson...as Doris Kearns Goodwin said...when we all were young and had so much hope for this country. .
I watched Errol Morris' film on the NYTimes yesterday. He really didn't seem to be saying much except 'nothing to to see here, ...' It could have easily been edited down to 5 minutes, tops.
There was a fantastic opinion in the Times yesterday, "In KennedyÃ¢ÂÂs Death, a Turning Point for a Nation Already Torn", by Sam Tanenhaus. "A Divided, Dangerous Camelot: The anniversary reverie surrounding President John F. KennedyÃ¢ÂÂs death has obscured the anarchic disorder that was present in America."
It is the most sobering look at the times, past and present I've read in a long time. I was in kindergarten when Kennedy was assassinated and remember the announcement, but I really didn't know who or what a president was. Since I haven't had a tv for 10 years, I wasn't exposed to any of the media you guys are discussing.
Here is a link that might be useful: nytimes
Actually, the message I got from it is "there is everything to see", right in the photos and film footage. There may be no clear answer, but still, there it is.
Sorry that I misunderstood you, duluth. My apologies.
Pat, from my understanding (not very good) of the alternative theories of the assassination, there are questions about whether Zapruder film was edited. Showing a clip of a fixed film as proof isn't a very interesting, or convincing argument. I don't know anything at all about the photo.
In the end, I'm very glad the assassins didn't even nick Jackie. They must have been very, very good shots.
Whenever I think of that day all I see is Jackie in that suit covered in blood. It is like a photograph in my mind.
Yes it was a loss of innocence for "our" generation.
I thought it was clear that he wasn't claiming to know what did or didn't happen. I think it's a valid point that there are too many validating views, second by second, for any of them to have been altered, much less all of them, as he also points out.
"The widow of the police officer shot dead by Lee Harvey Oswald after he assassinated President John F. Kennedy has shared the touching letter Jackie Kennedy wrote to her - and revealed how it made her feel that she was not alone.
Marie Tippit, who is now 85, received the handwritten note just days after her husband J.D. Tippit was killed as he confronted the fleeing gunman, leaving Mrs Tippit with three children to raise alone.
'What can I say to you - my husband's death is responsible for you losing your husband,' Jackie Kennedy wrote to the grieving widow. 'Wasn't one life enough to take on that day?
'I lit a flame for Jack at Arlington [Cemetery] that will burn forever. I consider that it burns for your husband too and so will everyone who ever sees it.
'With my inexpressible sympathy, Jacqueline Kennedy.'
Here is a link that might be useful: link
Jackie was a class act.
pnbrown, "We" includes the (island) countries of the English speaking Caribbean, Guyana in South America and Belize (which barely qualifies) in Central America. That is another way of saying "ex British colonies" - not unlike the USA!
It used to be said that what hits the USA on Monday reaches Jamaica on Wednesday and Trinidad on Friday.
And we were unwittingly incorrectly political by referring to all Americans as "Yankees" as in working for the Yankee dollar.
Pat, didn't he only present 2 pieces of "evidence" then make the statement about all of the evidence being altered? Has there ever been a claim that all of the evidence was altered?
I listened to an interview with Jim Fetzer, long time Kennedy assassination historian. He is from Duluth so often gets air time from local stations because he is local. I looked at his website too and found an article about the NYTimes always taking the position that the the Warren Report is accurate and going to lengths to defend it. I'm not surprised that 50 years later they are still maintaining their original position, which is what I thought was Morris' primary objective.
Not sure of the source of David's link. I don't click on unidentified links anymore. What's incredible about the quote is the assumption that Oswald is guilty of 2 murders. I don't know much about the assassination, but I do know that Oswald was murdered a few days after the assassination of Kennedy, and never stood trial, let alone be convicted of anything. But there it is, stated as fact.
Ohiomom, I haven't seen any pictures of Jackie's suit and hope I never do. The footage of her leaping to the trunk of the car to retrieve a piece of her husbands head is enough. Jackie was a class act. She sure was.
It's natural to think that an event is more significant than history proves it to be because of an association with it.
I think we all do that from time to time.
But life has moved on, JFK was assassinated and I don't think we will ever know the truth.
Jackie was indeed a class act. She was smart enough to realize her assets of youth, beauty, charm, breeding and intelligence to JFK's presidency (as was he and Joe Kennedy) and career as well as the opportunity for history to remember her differently than previous first ladies and I believe every word she uttered, every outfit she wore, every mannerism, reflected that. I admire her for how she reared her children to look outside themselves and how she insulated them while giving them as normal a life as they each could have.
There is another book about that says LBJ was about to be dumped from the ticket and says he is responsible for the assassination.
There will always be someone to speculate about who what where and make money, and still no definitive answers.
John F. Kennedy would never have made it in today's society with the media, he would have suffered disgrace for his many infidelities and relegated to sailing and other ventures.
The shoulda woulad couldas about his presidency will always be that. It was a nice time that I remember when things were calm, before people were so mad all the time and sniping.
A time when even if you didn't have class in your personal life you acted like you did in public.
I say let Kennedy rest in peace.
Seems like we watched two different films. He clearly stated that the notion that all the video and photo evidence was altered is absurd, and therefore none of it has been altered.
The point of the piece was, IMO, that the answer to the mystery is contained in that visual record, but we may never be able to tease it out.
I was 6 at the time. The most lasting image i have is the Bill Mauldin cartoon, of Lincoln weeping, that my mother had on the wall for literally decades afterwards.
My dad really didn't like the whole Kennedy clan, reviled the elder Joe as a scheming sob and always called Bobby a snake. He wanted to like Jack but couldn't get past his family's skeletons.
I lived through another assassination here in Israel. Our Prime minister was shot, and it affected the country here the same way - loss of innocence, what could have been, look who we have become. But those years, I know, it was first Jack, then King, then Bobby............as I sat with mom a few years later and we heard on the radio the very tail end of a report about Wallace, we'd missed the details. The first thing out of my young mouth was "I bet he was shot", and my mother was more upset by my easily spouted assumption - that assassination was a common idea- than by the shooting itself.
The House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded in its 1979 report that evidence supported two shooters in the killing of the president.
Therefore, there is confirmation, based on evidence, that Oswald did not act alone.
The conclusion that neither the CIA nor FBI were involved is less believable -- classic modified limited hangout.
I wondered if we had seen the same film too, Pat. I watched it again. A key statement is that the photographic evidence that is available authenticates itself.
About 40 + years ago I bought a book about Kennedy's assassination that was 'smuggled' in from Canada. I remember I bought it from a lawyer from Chicago - Sherman Skolnik.
The book was called "Farewell America" and had un-modified photos from the Zapruder film. Many many years later I learned that the author was a fake - and that it was at least in part a project of the French Intelligence service.
The book made a case for several 'shooters' and remained somewhat of an enigma to me. Then of all things it was re-published about 10 years ago in paperback -and is sold on Amazon- it is still interesting and I found the text free on line as well-
(link to text
Althea, I agree, that was the crux of it to me also.