Last Friday, November 22, we paused to remember the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination; a tragedy that occurred in 1963. And in my opinion, it’s important for the generation that lived through it—I’m one of them—to keep its memory alive.
While the generations born after 1963 remain aware of JFK, to them he’s now a member of a perpetual fraternity called history: a former president who was assassinated. And there is nothing disrespectful about this.
In the history of this nation, four sitting presidents were assassinated: Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley, and John F. Kennedy. But for my generation, the first three, though remembered—especially Abraham Lincoln—are all historical footnotes in the life span of this country.
But also, for my generation, JFK was one of US. And while he was not an Abraham Lincoln clone, President Kennedy was larger than life in his own right.
As ALL presidents have done, he made his share of mistakes—think Bay of Pigs as one of perpetual note. And as were SEVERAL of our presidents, he’s rumored to have succumbed to the call of carnal curiosity relative to women other than his wife.
But in matters of America’s sovereignty, he never failed to demonstrate the courage of his convictions.
He was a genuine world war two combat veteran and hero. And relative to the THEN Soviet Union’s edging the world to the brink of nuclear ruin by trying to put nuclear missiles in Cuba—a mere 90-miles from the U. S. Mainland—as President of the United States, he forced the Soviets to blink FIRST.
As well, it was John Fitzgerald Kennedy who challenged this nation to snap its Earthly binds by going into space. And although he didn’t live to see it, we not only sent humans TO the moon, we landed them ON it and brought them back home.
But as much as I think that we should pause for a SINGLE, day-long tribute to the man on the anniversary of his death, the time has long expired for the nation to stop its annual two weeks-long obsession with a plethora of conspiracy theories.
But it’s not going to happen because they are tremendous ratings windfalls and money-makers for the cable news networks, book-writers, and issue-oriented radio and TV pundits (aka WINDBAGS).
MOST of the theories are pure crap; they remain alive ONLY because a sufficient number of idiots, who love to mentally masturbate over mere speculation, are forever with us.
But even in those instances—JFK’s assassination included—where reasonable people can spot a few internal consistencies in a proposed theory, it’s futile to perpetuate it.
It’s been 50-YEARS; most of the principals are dead, and there is NO direct, conclusive evidence of multiple shooters. So we’re never going to solve this one for sure, and we need to get over the fact.
I admired John F. Kennedy very much, and I will continue to celebrate his short-lived life for the rest of my OWN life, as well as bristle with disgust over his assassination. I also suspect that many others of my generation will continue doing so as well.
But life can change in a mere instant—many times in horrible ways. I learned this at the young age of 15-years (I’m now 73), when my father and youngest brother (3 years-old) died in an automobile accident.
JFK—at least to me—was larger than life, but so was my dad. And it was my dad’s sudden death, not JFK’s that taught me that life is often tenuous at best.
It took a compassionate, empathetic, and caring Roman Catholic Priest about 45-seconds to tell me that my father was dead. It took approximately two microseconds for that news to change my life forever.
In a mere blink of an eye, the father that I loved more than I was ever able to express, my own personal larger-than-life figure, was GONE. And six short years later, another larger-than-life national figure was also suddenly GONE.
And what I learned from these two events, along with a few other personal tragedies, is that we can’t obsess over such tragic uncertainties. If we do, we cease the ability to live any semblance of a meaningful life.
But you’d better be damn well ready for them because they’re an integral part of life; or as some people say, “It’s the way things are.” And while I’ll never forget my father, I learned to live without him.
This nation’s seeming obsession with how many and/or which agencies—domestic or foreign, including Lyndon Johnson himself—may have plotted to kill him has to stop.
Back when former President George H. W. Bush was in office, rumor had it that if anything were to have happened to him, the Secret Service had orders to shoot the Vice President: Dan Quayle.
I’m not trying to start a conspiracy theory; I’m just SAYING! And those of us who are familiar with Mr. Quayle’s futile attempts at showing even brief periods of intellectual consciousness, know precisely what I’m talking about. HMMM!