Friday, November 22, 2013

The Kennedy Assassination, November 22, 1963.

Excerpt from Chapter 6.5
St. Louis Country Day School

I have many great memories of my eight years at Country Day.  Almost all of them are pleasant, but a few most definitely are not.  One such memory is from the day that President Kennedy was assassinated on Friday, November 22, 1963.  Almost everyone of my generation remembers where they were when they first heard the news, and I am no exception.  I was at school having lunch in the dining hall with the rest of my classmates when the Headmaster, David Pynchon, came to the microphone unexpectedly to make an announcement.  We were all kids and in high spirits, talking and laughing noisily as usual, but something about Mr. Pynchon's manner silenced us quickly.  In a very solemn voice, the Headmaster told the school that President Kennedy had been shot.  Then he led the school in a prayer for the President.  We all exchanged looks of surprise and shock.  The whole dining hall was hushed, and no one could quite believe what they had heard.  A half an hour later, a little after 1pm, we had finished lunch and were going to our next class when we heard that the President had died.  I can't remember whether classes were cancelled that day, but the flag was lowered to half-mast almost immediately.  I sat glued to the television for the next several days, tuned in primarily to Huntley and Brinkley on NBC and Walter Cronkite on CBS, watching the aftermath, including the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald and the funeral in Washington, all the while trying to make sense of it all.  I couldn't.  I am not a particularly emotional person, but I do remember that as the funeral cortege made its way to Arlington Cemetery, I suddenly started crying, and couldn't stop for several minutes.  The enormity of the event had become too much.  It was an emotional time for everyone, and it was a day and a time burned indelibly into my memory.

No comments:

Post a Comment