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JFK: Anniversary of an Assasination

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Women burst into tears outside Parkland Hospital upon hearing that President John F. Kennedy died from a shooting while riding in a motorcade in Dallas. (AP Photo/File) media.vcstar.com
President John F. Kennedy, center, and Vice President Lyndon Johnson, center right, walk through downtown Fort Worth, Texas. Later in the morning, they headed to Dallas for a motorcade to a planned luncheon speech. It was part of a trip to help mend a rift among Texas Democrats and try to secure the state for Kennedy in the 1964 election. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle) media.vcstar.com
Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in as president as Jacqueline Kennedy stands at his side in the cabin of Air Force One on the ground at Love Field in Dallas. media.vcstar.com
The former Texas School Book Depository building, left, now known as the Sixth Floor Museum overlooks Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, where Lee Harvery Oswald fired from the building killing President John F. Kennedy media.vcstar.com
President Charles de Gaulle of France, center, and other dignitaries salute as servicemen hold an American flag above the casket of slain President John F. Kennedy in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/File) media.vcstar.com
The plaque outside Hangar 34 marks the spot where President John F. Kennedy spoke less than six months before his assassination. media.vcstar.com
A close-up of the plaque, embedded in the airfield floor at Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu, near Hangar 34, that shows where President John F. Kennedy spoke on June 7, 1963. media.vcstar.com
I was a lieutenant in the Army stationed in Wertheim Germany with the 3/35 Self Propelled Artillery which was an 8 inch howitzer nuclear delivery system. I was the duty officer that night and upon hearing of the Presidents shooting from the radio, we were notified to start moving toward the East German Border immediately fully armed and ready to fight should this be the start of WW3. Two days later as things calmed down we were returned to base and started to stand down. Unknown to us while we moved forward our families were made ready to move West to ports in France or South to Switzerland given the road conditions. Walt Wosicki
On the morning of Nov. 22, 1963, I was a Seaman Recruit on the deck of the Coast Guard Cutter Dexter. Word came at 10 AM that Pres. Kennedy had been assassinated... It was not until later that the enormity of the tragedy struck home to this teenager. By order of Pres. Johnson, the nation went into what was an official 30 day mourning period, with a govt. shutdown for at least the next three days. While watching the televised events, it became more personal for me. I recalled how a friend and I went out to Burbank Airport in late Oct. 1960 to see then-Sen. Kennedy during his last campaign swing through California. We were struck by his youth and magnetism. I reflected on how the future president walked the airport line shaking hands and generally being available to the several hundred people there, all without Secret Service protection and with very little local police presence. I recalled how, at the time how vulnerable the candidate seemed to be. Little did I know that 37 months later that in fact the president became as vulnerable as anyone could be and that he was taken from us. Gary L. Wartik, Camarillo
I was in the 4th grade at Will Rogers Elementary, Ventura. I was 9 years old. I remember our teacher, Mr. Beck, asking for quiet and the announcement was made that our President was dead. I can clearly remember the row and the seat I was in. After that we had a recess and everyone went outside very quiet. At recess everyone stayed very quiet and some of the teachers were crying. (It wasn't until years later I fully understood the sadness that day). Sherrie Basham, Ventura
I was a recent immigrant (came to the US 1960) in 6th grade at Ramona Elementary School in Hollywood. After lunch our teacher with tears in her eyes told us what happened... One student Bobby Reed, got very emotional and said it was the Russians, the Communists and Olga, you are Russian so it is all your fault.... The irony is that we were Russian, but my parents had escaped Communism twice--moving from their native Russia to China and then from China (where I was born) to the US.... When I came home that day, my parents were sure there would be a revolution and we would have to go to another country again.... Of course, we were all so saddened by the death of such a great and young president, who represented so much promise to the US and the world.... Olga
I was a young Ford Foundation Fellow -- lured to Washington DC by JFK's "ask not what your country can do for you" -- just finishing a year in the 92nd Congress of the United States... Two doors down from our brick townhouse  lived young Senator Ted Kennedy with his wife and baby...Didn't see the Kennedys until weeks later.  My Georgetown housemates and I stood with silent crowds of people across the street from the White House the day of Jack Kennedy's funeral.  On the other side of the street stood Jacqueline Kennedy…holding little Caroline and toddler John Kennedy by the hand.   I wept watching John- John  salute his father's casket  as the black horses pulling the caisson headed toward the cathedral.  The sound of horses hooves seemed thunderous -- the only sound you could hear. A man in front of me had a tiny portable TV in his hand  showing  the scene at the jail in Dallas. Suddenly, chaos on the TV  as  we see a man shoot the President's assassin -- Lee Harvey Oswald -- as President Kenndy's caisson, carrying his black draped coffin, rolls by in front of us. Was this happening in America?  America??? Linda Ross Webber, Moorpark
Jacqueline Kennedy, widow of assassinated President John F. Kennedy, holds the U.S. flag that covered the coffin of her husband at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. after the president was buried. (AP Photo/Eddie Adams) media.vcstar.com
I was in Junior high school in Smithtown, New York. I was in chemistry class when a coach of our came in to tell the teacher about the shooting. We sat silent as the day went on. That Sunday morning, I jumped into a car with two of my friends and drove down to Washington, DC. We snuck into the long lines waiting to get into the capital building where JFK was lying in state. We got in around 2am and I walked 10 feet from the casket. The next morning we hopped the short fence into the National Cemetery and made our way to within 20 yards of the burial site. We watched from the hill we were on as the procession came down from the capital and up the hill to the site. The cars backed up as the hearse stopped by the gravesite and all the dignitaries got out of their cars and walked up to the site. I remember being five feet from Charles DeGaulle and all of the other leaders of the world. We then went up to where we climbed a tree which was so close to the ceremony, that we saw the eternal flame go out and then quickly relit, and we also saw Jackie Kennedy cry when they handed her the folded up flag. Thirty years later while I was on a business trip, I went back to the cemetery and that tree and just stood there for quite awhile, reminiscing. Paul Auster, Thousand Oaks
Mom, something has happened. The teachers were crying when I left school," said my kindergarten daughter as she got off the bus at our front door at Oakland Army Terminal. I knew what had happened. I had already heard the news on the radio. The long, dit, dit, dit sound the network used to signal a news bulletin had gone on and on and I had muttered to myself, "what can be that important?" My memory of that day still has many clear facets, but standing alone is the picture of a little girl with curly blonde hair looking at me with questioning blue eyes and asking, "what happened, Mom?" Jo Ann Goff, Thousand Oaks