I have a very vivid, if isolated memory. It was cold. We were wearing coats. We were at the grocery store and two old women were arguing over buying eggs. They had on drab coats, and "babushkas" on their heads. Then one woman said something that terrified me. She said, "Well! What if there is a war?"
I learned later that it was the Bay of Pigs fiasco that had prompted that comment. At the time I remember freezing in place and just staring at that woman. Mama had to acutally tug me away, saying "What's wrong with you? Come on now...
It's strong memories like that which are linked inextricably in my mind with the Kennedys.
I won't go on and on about the Civil Rights movement and Bobby Kennedy's actions there, but those days too are crystal clear. That Bobby Kennedy's words and convictions managed to forestall a riot on the evening of Martin Luther Kings assasination made it very clear to me that he was completely committed to improving the social crisis of the time.
Were they perfect? Not by a long shot. Were they effective? Absolutely.
So do we have a Kennedy-esque option in the forthcoming election?
We have a world facing global climate change (possibly ;) even if not, most agree that we've hit peak oil production and facing decline + even higher costs. Emerging markets, India taking jobs or should I say being willingly given jobs, economic downturn which only looks like it's going to get worse and no one can think we're out of the woods re. terrorism.
The world needs a truly inspirational President, a world leader not just the leader of a country.
I'm struggling to find one in any of the candidates?
math is not my strong suit unless we're talking percentages!
Oh Keith, there is no one like the John or Bobby in this election. I don't know that we'll ever see that like again. Some may not agree, but I saw that idealism and spirit in Bill Clinton. He certainly wasn't the first president to cheat but everyone sure acted like it!
I feel like an old woman giving an oral history... :) (S'okay, I am)!
I remember Jackie leaving the clinic where Jack had died. She looked too energetic to me and I said to Mama, "She's mean! She looks happy!" That was the day I learned what shock could do to you; how it could make you act in ways that weren't what you would normally do. I heard my Grandfather sometime during all of this tragedy talking to his brother in Massachusetts, saying how Jackie had climbed out of the seat and was trying to reach the part of Jack's skull that had been blown off. That image seared. I still have a hard time watching that film... if you do see it again, watch her. Grandfather was right.
Do you know she moved out of the Whitehouse that night? Her husband was murdered and she and her children held to protocol. I cannot think of another woman who I admire more for her strength, her sense of dignity, and her ethics.
I learned about the significance of the riderless horse, with the empty boots backwards in the stirrups.
I'm sure it was my young age that made all of this so indelibly etched in my meomories. We'd never had such a thing happen in our "modern" time and it effected everyone in my world.
The teacher came before the class and told us the President had been shot, then was interrupted called out of the room and returned. She said then, with an ashen face, that The President was dead. No flowery phrase. Just dead. She then said the buses were coming to bring us home and we were not to speak one word.
The school was completely silent. All these little kids confused, and clearly scared, with heads down shuffling to the buses. Not one word was said in the hallways, nor on the bus. The bus driver was crying. It was the first time I'd seen a man cry in public and not care who saw.
Johnie, I believe the same thing. Clinton was of the same ilk, if not quite as powerful.
Anwar Sadat was too; in terms of being a political leader, I mean.
Who in the world today? I don't know. Could Obama? Perhaps. But he needs to remember he is of all peoples, both races not just one. Kennedy never forgot that he served all people, that was his strength. (And talk about cheating! ).
I wasn't born then but I have seen the video of the assasination a million times. It's always been sad and tragic but I never really got what the huge fuss was. My world was a whole lot different than that time, ya know? Anyway, I was watching the Oliver Stone movie and it showed the clip in there and it HIT me like a ton of bricks. I sobbed and sobbed and really felt like I got it then. Jackie was an incredibly brave and strong woman.
My cousin was one of the pallbearers for JFK.
To this day, when I see that shot of John John saluting, my chest catches in one of those dry sobs. It's uncontrollable.
Yes, Johnie. I can understand. It was so monumental to "us" because it was so horrifyingly "new."
By the time you had been born assassins had taken the best we had from Jack, to Bobby, to Martin... it must have been hard to understand.
1963. It was the year my sister was born, and the year I stopped being a child. I understood that year that horrible, awful things happened and you couldn't do a thing to stop it or change it. I learned that no matter how many tears you cried, or rosaries you prayed you couldn't make the hurt for that little girl and boy go away.
I say this carefully and ask you not to judge. Remember I was a child myself (and one who at that age was headed for the convent of the Sisters of Mercy).
It was my first break with G-d. I did not understand then (nor now) how G-d could allow this to happen. No one could answer me, I was just told to "say my prayers" and that "some things were not for me to understand."
Unfortunately, that was the wrong answer for me to have been given.