Mom said the moment the shooting was on the news....the world stood still. Not just for her but literally for the world. Work stopped, school stopped and people were glued to their tv's and radios waiting and listening. Catholics around the world hit their knees as this was their president. The first of his kind and although his presidency was still in its infancy and he had already been pushed.....there were great hopes that he was the president that they needed to guide them through the 1960's. No one could believe that in just a few short seconds.....Camelot might have crumbled right before everyones eyes.
As Mom awaited the news of whether this young president, the one that she had jumped parties to vote for would be alright, she paced the floor saying one rosary after another. She looked at me through tear filled eyes and wondered who could do such a thing as to shoot a president? And if there was someone out there that could do this.....what did this mean for her country? What did this mean for my future?
When the announcement was finally made that President John F. Kennedy had in fact died from his wounds....Mom grabbed me and held me with all her might as she shed the tears of the brokenhearted. She was not alone. School children wept and teachers wept. People in offices, factories and even cars all along the highway had all frozen in time waiting to hear the news and when they did, they all cried at the passing of this man. On this day, as on other days in our history.....it didn't matter whether you were Republican or Democrat.....all that mattered was that you were an American and as Americans everyone was suffering from the terrible blow that had been dealt. The president had been assassinated and Camelot was gone.
I heard this story over and over growing up. It was a dark moment in Moms life and the lives of all Americans in 1963. It was a reminder then as now.....all these 50 years later.......that even the greatest nation in the world through evil men.......can be brought to its knees in seconds.
John F. Kennedy