Do You Remember? 50 Years Ago Today!

John F Kennedy in White House

1 – John F Kennedy White House Photo – Courtesy of at Free Use Images on Google Search

Yes, I do, as if it were yesterday. I remember where I was and what I was doing, when I first heard the news about President Kennedy.

I remember hearing the tapping and then crackling of the PA system, as sound sputtered from the speaker on the wall, preparing for an announcement. I was in a History class, in a high-school band room, when the interruption made everyone stop, look up and listen. 

Little did we know that what we were about to hear would forever change history. The first crackling announcement said that President John F. Kennedy had been shot.

A hush swept across the room, as we listened and held our breath, with the news still ringing in our ears.

No one could put their attention back on History, though our teacher tried to distract us from what we just heard in an attempt to pick up where we left off on the last task at hand. What seemed like ages later, the speaker crackled again and what we had silently feared was finally spoken aloud ― “President John F. Kennedy is dead.

Jackie Kennedy

2 – Jackie Kennedy – Courtesy of at Free Use Images on Google Search


As I look at the images of Jacqueline Kennedy and listen to the “Abraham-Martin-And-John” song below, I remember, and tears well up in my eyes and my heart wants to cry once more.


Johh-John saluting the flag at Kennedy's funeral procession

3- John-John Saluting the Flag – Courtesy of at Free Use Images on Google Search


Now, 50 years later, with a husband, children and grandchildren of my own, I can only begin to feel and imagine the despair, shock, torn heart and broken spirit a bride and her young family endured that day.

It took a strong woman with courage to lead our country through the final, fateful days that followed. I don’t know how she did it. I only know from my past experiences, when the NEED is great, GRACE is greater.

I suppose every generation remembers a gripping event, when it seems as if time stopped and the world was spinning out of control. My parents remembered the bombing of Pearl Harbor, much the same as we remembered Kennedy’s assassination. The younger generation will remember where they were when they heard of the first plane that flew into the World Trade Center.

For three days following Kennedy’s death, families across the United States were huddled in front of small, black-and-white, screened TV’s, hanging on every word, following events as they unfolded. We were numb and grief-stricken, even those whose politics didn’t particularly side with the party and President in office at the time.

In each generation, there are people who are bigger than life. John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy were among those and even, if you look at the entertainment industry, Elvis was another. Though we knew they weren’t perfect, there was something special about them that made us feel safe, gave us hope, admired and enjoyed.

“He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.” – Abraham Lincoln

Only time will tell who will stand out in history and remain forever in our memories. People like these are rare, whether it’s one of strong character with a gift of words with depth that inspires us to move forward to new possibilities; or, another, easy on the eyes, with music to dream on and an unforgettable voice.

 “One person can make a difference and every person should try” ― John F Kennedy

What happened to us? Can ideal standards again be realized today or will they lie dormant in the hearts of men waiting for another time? It’s up to us. Today, we need more leaders to come forward with the character of Lincoln, Kennedy and King, where words spoken can be trusted and public service rendered is for the good of all, not for personal gain.

“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.” ― John F Kennedy

I have a dream. . .

“There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why … I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” ~~ Robert Kennedy

eternal flame

4 – Former Presidents Gather to Pay Respects at the Eternal Flame – Courtesy of at Free Use Images on Google Search

Pat from the ol’ kitchen table

Photo Credits:
1 – John F Kennedy White House Photo – Courtesy of at Free Use Images on Google Search
2 – Jackie Kennedy Images – Courtesy of at Free Use Images on Google Search
3 – John John Saluting the Flag – Courtesy of at Free Use Images on Google Search
4 – Gathering of Presidents at Eternal Flame – Courtesy of at Free Use Images on Google Search

18 thoughts on “Do You Remember? 50 Years Ago Today!

  1. Such a vivid memory Pat stays with you forever. There’s the thought…. if only great men like Gandhi, Kennedy, Martin Luther King had remained alive they could have done so much to change the world…..but was the world ready for such message…were they almost messengers before their time. They certainly left a legacy in so many people’s hearts. I was only five when this happened but have watched several films and documentaries about the Kennedys. I have so much admiration for what they were trying to achieve and their lack of fear in challenging the status quo or the establishment. Thanks for a thought provoking post.

    • My sentiments exactly, Diana. I wonder, too, if the world would be different had these great men been permitted to live out their lives. We will never know.

      Perhaps, they weren’t meant to and, like you said, maybe their life’s purpose was only to be a messenger. Only thing is when will we finally get the message! I think we come close and the window of opportunity is there to get it, but only for a short time, when events such as these happen and we unite as one in love in our hearts.

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Diana. It means a lot to me and I feel more connected with you heart-to-heart.

    • Yes, Susan, it’s very sad to remember the unfolding events of this day. There are many documentaries, photos and videos available for viewing and reading. That is good to preserve memories and a time in history. But, unless you lived in that time and were part of the collective energy of that era, much like our parents during WWII, the essence and magnitude of the feeling of this event can’t quite be captured the same way.

      Time has certainly moved on, Susan, like you said. I’m sure the world would have been much different, if he had lived. We will never know.

  2. Very moving and evocative post about a tragedy for our times Pat and how it affected you so personally.

    I was a little girl but I remember my mum crying when she heard the news but she says she also cried when she watched Churchill’s funeral in 1965 so maybe it is that I remember.

    What breaks my heart is seeing the little boy saluting his father’s coffin and then knowing that he too went to an early grave.

    We need strong leaders like JFK even more today. I wonder if we will ever have them again…

    • Thank you, Sherri, for stopping by and sharing this moment with us and leaving your thoughts. I can only imagine, there in the UK, how your hearts were broken, too, on the death of Churchill. It seems like people like him and Kennedy arrived on the scene at just the right time, for a special purpose, when people’s hearts were open for their message.

      I agree — it was sad to see little John-John saluting, as his father’s coffin passed by in procession. He was so young with so much promise and possibilities. Our leaders today are broken looking for answers in all the wrong places and history will continue to repeat itself until we start looking in the right places — our hearts. I believe there will be a time when that happens, when we’ll finally get the message. Then, maybe we won’t have history repeating itself in events like these.

      • Yes Pat, history does repeat itself doesn’t it? I wonder if we will ever learn…sadly, we seem to be such a long off from that happening any time soon.

        On a brighter note, I hope you had a good weekend and that you have a good week my dear friend 🙂

        • Hi Sherri – I know, it sure does repeat itself. I think we’ll learn. We’ve already come a long way, even though it doesn’t seem like it sometimes.

          I did have a good weekend, thank you. It was quiet and gearing up for Thanksgiving this week. How about you? I hope you’re out and about enjoying the coming of the holidays. It always puts me in a festive mood being reminded of the good things in life and being thankful. I try to throughout the year but the holidays help me stay with it longer. Happy Monday! 🙂

  3. I was in study hall in the cafeteria when the news broke
    Iremember returning to our home rooms and you could hear a pin drop in the hallway it was so quiet
    All you could hear was a occasinal sniffle from someone crying a we made our way to homerom
    I had a date that weekend to the school play, but that never happened and she never agreed to go out with me after that

    • Hi John – I knew you were there, too, somewhere in the same school at the same time. As a fellow high-school classmate, I liked hearing your account of where you were and what happened that day. People take away from it different feelings and messages. But, one thing for sure, it was a memory not soon forgotten that touched the depth of our souls.

      Thank you for sharing, my friend. It means a lot to me that you stopped by and joined me in remembering this day.

  4. I will never forget that day…I heard the news at the bus top, on my way to school to write an exam. The photos…the ceremony…and yes the courageous strength of Jackie who held it together for her children and a nation. Just now close friends of hers are telling Jackie’s story…how she really felt, and The Passionate Eye recently did a documentary on Jackie and that fateful day. It’s sad that great leaders like John Kennedy and Martin Luther King get assassinated.

    • Hi Bev – thank you for sharing your thoughts of what you were doing this day and where you were. I was 16 when Kennedy was killed. So, I was still young enough, not yet to understand the responsibilities of being a wife and mother, but old enough to comprehend and feel the impact of this event.

      Now, years later, with the experience of having a husband and children, my feelings of the event are greater with compassion in looking at the photos of Jackie. I have a much better perspective, understanding and deep respect for her in how she conducted herself and handled all of it with her children.

  5. What a great post. It’s as if you timed it all perfectly…your personal experience leading up to the video that made me weep and continuing on with thoughts to reflect on and those quotes that I do remember and made me smile as they were so powerful…the shaped who I am today…I think back how great men like JFK changed my perspective on life, giving, community. Blessings, Oliana

    • Thank you, Oliana, your words warm my heart and mean a lot that you understand. It was such a painful time — we were riding high with enormous hopes and expectations and then suddenly met our lowest of lows. I agree, it was a powerful time with great men and women to admire and look up to that looked to shape our lives and country. They made a difference in my life and the world at the time. It was an experience I’ll never forget.

      I’m happy you stopped by and hope you’ll enjoy holidays this week with friends and family. 🙂

      • Aww I’m Canadian and we had our Thanksgiving mid October…why don’t we all celebrate at the same time? But then again, we wouldn’t be able to go to the US to get some great bargains…{smiles} Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Pat. I love this holiday because it is an opportunity to reminisce on things we are grateful.

        • Me Too, Oliana, I love this time of year! It reminds me of the good things in life and to give thanks. I hope you come to the States and get some good deals (haha).

          Thank you for the warm wishes for Thanksgiving. We’re getting ready to get together with family and getting out the old recipes to do some cooking. Don’t you love it! Hope you had a good Thanksgiving too and enjoy the upcoming festivities of Christmas with family and friends. Hugs and blessings to you all. 🙂

I would love to hear from you. . .thank you for stopping by.

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