11.22.2009

JFK's Death And Other Trauma

On November 22, 1963 JFK was assassinated in Dallas. I was in the midst of music class, playing the flutophone. Seventh grade at Brogden Junior High School. Thirteen years old.

When the message of his death came over the the loudspeaker time stopped. I became as nervous as I felt under the lights one night during the Cuban missile crisis when, out playing tackle position for the Optimist Football team, I and other kids would steal a look skyward between plays, looking for the missile that was destined to come any minute out of the black sky above the stadium lights.

In the 60's there was something to be said for kids not paying attention to current events.

These events rank right up there with watching a film on TV on Sunday night (was it Ed Sullivan?) about the power of the atom bomb and its unfathomable destructive powers. The film depicted what would happen to a neighborhood much like my own in the event of a detonation many, many miles away. The recurring nightmare associated with that film finally went away.

The last time I felt that awful fearful pang in the pit of my stomach was on September 11, 2001.

Until recently. I was travelling with one of my sons to DC and we passed the Pentagon. Suddenly my son gasped "Oh my God!", almost scaring me out of my traffic lane. But I recovered in time to see what had caused the exclamation. He (and I), upon looking at the Pentagon immediately realized, because of the significant difference in the color of a part of the building, that we were looking at where the airplane slammed into the building on 9/11. I have added that moment to those others that I will never forget.
LD

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