JFK RIP

Every year at this time I think about it. The iconic photos spark all sorts of emotions.  Jackie and Jack in the car in Dallas…

Walter Cronkite tearfully confirming the news to a stunned nation…

Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald in LIVE Black and White…

LBJ being sworn in on Air Force 1 with Jackie looking on…

The Zapruder film footage…

The nation in mourning…

The son paying his last respects…

I was in 4th grade when I got the news.  Having just recited my multiplication tables to our whole class, I was basking in my glory of accomplishment when all of a sudden, Mrs. Lewis, our teacher, stunned all of us with the news.

No piece of news in my lifetime has rocked my world more than that did. To be sure, there have been many dramatic news moments — MLK’s assassination (followed by RFK only two months later), the moon landing, 9-11 — but no moment since JFK’s assassination has brutally confronted my personal sense of innocence to such an extent.

At the same time, if there’s one word that summarizes JFK’s brief presidency, optimism is as good as any.  I’m still optimistic enough to buy in to his immortal words: “Ask not what your country can do for you; Ask what you can do for your country.” Looking to 2016, I feel no allegiance to either side of the partisan aisle. But I long for someone to pick up JFK’s mantle.  In our hearts, I believe we know he’s right.

So, RIP JFK… RIP Jackie… and RIP John, Jr.

Onward, Caroline. – Malcolm Gauld