Being a Catholic attending a Catholic School, I was age 14 and sitting in my Algebra class when an announcement came through our PA system that our Presidenthad been shot. We prayed the rosary for him when shortly there after another announcement came to us that our treasured President had died. We were sent home shortly and remember crying feeling, so shocked and thinking of his wife, and children that will grow up with out a Father. Being young minded I remember how thrilled I was that a Irish Catholic became President of the USA. I felt as though our President was my hero, as I too, was an Irish Catholic.
So the dream created by this family was dead and that hurt when thinking about how something like this could possibly happen? Times were different, people were not killing each other, how could this happen?
Arriving at home, I began to openly cry and my Mother hugged me. We watched in shock with the rest of the country the news regarding the assassination. My Father and younger siblings were home now and my Father spoke about this tragedy repeating over and over that the person that committed this dreadful act will be reprehended soon. I believed him.
I think it was a Sunday, not sure but I was watching the television when I actually viewed the live killing of suspect Lee Harvey Oswald. I called for my Father who was in the other room and told him what happened. He could not believe it. Our entire family cried because we felt our lives had changed forever. We now were a witness to murder. We turned the television off and spoke about this new crime against the suspect. We prayed too, for God to help put our country back together again. We felt that our country was sinking fast. At this time, we did not know if it was a foreign attack on our President or if it was Lee Harvey Oswald. I remember feeling afraid. My parents assured us all that our country is safe and that this crime will be solved soon.
President Kennedy’s funeral was like no other that I had ever seen. It was a large funeral with people from all over the world attending. I remember watching Mrs. Kennedy and told my Mother that I do not know how she could remain so strong? Mrs. Kennedy set an example of dignity, respect, and love of family for her late husbands funeral. Although heavily veiled during the funeral you could still see her pain. Her children were at her side and suddenly her little son John, stepped up as the casket passed and he saluted his Father. Everyone in our home cried. It was so terribly sad yet everyone was so proud of this family’s composer and grace.
These are the memories that I have of our good President and his Family. The President’s Assassination and ensuing Funeral changed our Country for good in that we no longer seemed to have trust that our President would always be protected. We must be on guard as bad people exist that cause grievous harm and pain to others.
I will always remember the Presidential Family called Kennedy’s, that once lived a life that was admired by all in our Country, and then they were gone in a matter of seconds. Life can be cruel.