"Where were you when Kennedy was shot?" is something I have said and have been asked uncounted times since that fateful day. It is a touchstone to a critical point in time.
I remember clearly where I was: I was in the first grade at St. Florian's. It was after lunch time and the whole school went over to the church and we said the Rosary. After that, we were sent home. I came in the house and told my mom that "Sister Isaac says the world is going to end." I don't remember though, being alarmed at such a statement.
The next few days were a little more unsettling: adults crying, watching the funeral on the tee-vee and this immense feeling of grief and sadness was everywhere. On a personal level, I was really sad that Caroline, who was my age, lost her daddy.
A shining light had been extinguished and the promise of a New Frontier just faded away.
As I got older, I became interested in the circumstances of the assassination. I don't believe a thinking person can accept the Warren Commission's explanation of the way things went down. In that spirit, Dale and I took a trip to Dallas in 2005 to see for ourselves.
It was a spiritual experience to say the least. The moment I entered The Sixth Floor Museum, which is housed in the Texas Book Depository, I cried like a baby. It was a surreal experience to be there and also to walk on "The Grassy Knoll". We also went over to Oswald's old neighborhood and actually saw the house where he supposedly posed with the rifle in that famous picture from Life magazine. Some people go to Gettysburg or Philadelphia, I went to Dallas.
Forty-five years....wow. Every day there are fewer and fewer people you can ask the question "Where were you when Kennedy was shot?" It is up to us to keep the memory alive.
If you want to see more photos of our trip, click here.