For those of us over 60, November 22, 1963 was the most earth shaking day of our young lives. It was the day Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President John Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. Whereas the younger generation (and older) all remember where they were when the planes attacked the World Trade Center in New York (I was getting ready to teach a class at Eastern Connecticut State University), those of us over 60 will never forget where we were on that fateful day in November fifty years ago.
I was in Dave Pooley’s tenth grade biology class at Fair Lawn High School in New Jersey when the chemistry teacher, George Steinmetz, came across the hall to tell Mr. Pooley that the president had been shot. At that moment we didn’t know if he had died. As a newspaper boy, I had to wait for the afternoon edition of the Bergen Record til nearly 530P (when the newspapers were usually ready for me at 3P) with the news of Kennedy’s death. I delivered the papers in a fog.
So on this 23rd day of my 29 Gifts I want to find something to commemorate this auspicious anniversary. What is Kennedy known for? Civil rights? Peace? Justice? And then it’s clear. I’ll donate to prevent gun violence here in Maine. Online, I find Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence. In John Kennedy’s name and in my father’s memory, my gift today is a donation to prevent gun violence in Maine.