JACK KENNEDY PROJECTED AN IMAGE THAT
HAS STOOD FOR OUR IDENTITY AS A PEOPLE
Where were you on November 22?
No need to ask which year. Everybody old enough to remember the Kennedy Assassination remembers where they were when they heard the news. I was home from school, sick in bed.
Both my parents worked, but at 16, I wasn’t entirely without adult oversight. Aunt Betty, my mother’s sister, lived next door. Her phone call stirred me from a haze — not quite sleep, but something less than alertness. I can hear her voice 50 years later…
“Billy, turn on the TV. They shot the President.”
I dialed around in search of what information could be obtained in those early minutes, eventually settling on CBS. And so I witnessed Walter Cronkite’s tearful, voice-cracking announcement of the President’s death, which today is one of a string of vivid images in our collective memory: Jackie’s pink Chanel suit, Lee Harvey Oswald being shot in the Dallas police garage, the rider-less horse, little John-John saluting, and all the rest.