Today is November 22. For those of us of a certain age, that date will forever be connected with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. That day marked the end of an age of innocence, both for those in my generation as well as the United States in general. If you were old enough to have experienced that tragic event, you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when you heard the news. There are just a few certain events in life that burn such indelible memories into our brain.
Who knows what course the nation may have taken had Kennedy lived, and possibly won a second presidential term. Our course as a country would certainly be different. Perhaps the course of events of the world would be different as well. Would the Vietnam War have taken the same course? Would Richard Nixon have won in 1968? Would the distrust of government which has grown since the Warren Report, and then accelerated after the Nixon debacle, have gotten such traction?
All questions that will never be answered.
I do know that I had such a sense of sadness after November 22, 1963, that it helped to shape my adolescence. My generation got a shocking awakening at a vulnerable period in our life. I think it also gave rise to the turbulent 1960’s which changed the course and attitude of the nation.
I do not know how my readers around the world were affected by this event. They probably have their own signal events that were “game-changers” for them. I also believe that the assassination helped shape world events also, so in a sense, everyone felt the disruption of that tragic day.
So, as we remember that 59th anniversary of the assassination, pause to consider how one event can literally change your world, and the world around you.