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November 22, 2013

Even as a fifth grader, news of president’s death hit hard


Mom and “us kids” (I was the youngest of three) were glued to the TV news for the next few days — all four channels.

Like virtually the rest of the world, we were limited to piecing together and trying to process the scraps of information fed to us by local and national news broadcasts. We saw the live broadcast of Jack Ruby shooting Oswald and the many re-broadcasts of the surreal event. But then, the whole time period from that Friday afternoon through the next few days was rife with surrealism, even for a kid who had turned 11-years old just a couple of weeks previous.

I didn’t spend a whole lot of time outside through those few days, like I normally would have. And the memories of that capsule of time will stay with me always. Like the generation before me, who knew where they were and how they felt at the news of Pearl Harbor — and the tragic, indelible marker of the 9-11 attacks on later generations — Kennedy’s assassination was one of America’s darkest days of the ‘60s though, tragically, not the only one.

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