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Joined: Jan 2003
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Every person who lived through JFK's assassination can agree on one thing: it changed the world the way we knew it for good.

Were were you when it happened? How did you find out?

(to the younger generation who now thinks of this as the 'Mad Men era', lol, we who are older still think of it as the Kennedy era)


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I was in 10th grade and an announcement came over the school intercom.

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I was in the first grade. I remember my teacher being called into the hall by the Principal, and then coming back in and crying. I remember going home and saying 'Did you hear the--(I wanted to interject some kind of adjective) good news, the President was shot'.

Right after I said that I realized that I had used the wrong adjective! What I wanted to say was the 'bad' news, and for some reason I said the opposite!

That is all I remember. I remember my grandparents saying that my uncle and aunt had driven to Washington, D.C. to pay their respects.

I also remember the television showing footage of the laying in state and funeral for what seemed like forever to me! We only had one television, like mostly everybody back then, and that meant that I was not able to watch anything fun.

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LOL--I suspect that most of you will say that you were angels in Heaven not ready to be born yet! wink

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I was definitely not an angel in heaven in 1963. I was in grade school, don't remember what grade, but I would have been 11 at the time, so whatever grade that is. I remember the teacher was called into the hallway, and when she came back in, she told us the President had been shot, and that the school was closing immediately for the rest of the day, and we were all being sent home. I also remember the extensive TV coverage - as I recall, it was still only black-and-white back then.

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I was a preschooler at home--perplexed that my high school-teacher father had come home so early.

We were just about constantly watching the old 18" diagonal RCA black 'n white.

It was the first time that I had a conscious understanding of death. My paternal grandmother had reposed about six months prior but I knew little of it and was kept at home with my other grandparents during the services. This time it was unavoidable.

I was really struck by that iconic photo of John-John saluting his father's flag draped casket since he was only sligtly older; and can vaguely recall wondering if I could have been so brave had it been my father lying there.

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I was in second grade. I remember the teacher, Mrs. Crow, being called out of the classroom. She returned a few moments later stating that President Kennedy has been shot. The elementary school dismissed us for the day. I also remember many people crying. A sad, sad, day,

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I was at home with Mom, as a preschooler. I think my Dad was home too because he worked shift work. Mom turned on the TV. I'm not sure how she heard it. It was in black and white. I remember seeing the white letters on a black background saying "Special Report". I remember Mom saying, "Dear God", or "O my God", or something like it. I got chill bumps back then and I still get them today when I think about it. It is something I will never forget.

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I must have been about 7yrs old and I was at a boarding school in the south of England run by Visitation Nuns. It was evening and we were playing in a large hall when a nun came in and whispered to the nun who was keeping an eye on us. The nun who came into the room blew her whistle and we all stopped playing and were told of the death of the President. I recall thinking we will now have war. I can remember watching the Cuban situation each evening on the news we saw each evening with ships from the USSR with missiles visible onboard. I recall that the Nuns were very worried we may be sliding to another world war.

cool

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Public School 2nd Grade, our teacher was reading to us when the announcement came over the intercom. Our teacher began to cry. Then I realized just how sad the event must have been. School was shortly thereafter adjourned and we all went home. I'm not sure if there was school the next day or not.

As for thoughts of war, I don't recall any. Everybody was comparing it to the Lincoln assassination.

μιχαηλ η αιρετικη

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I was a senior in a Jesuit high school and it was my last period of the day - ironically, Honors Government. Father Joe Shea, of blessed memory, Rector of the Jesuit community, came on the PA system and announced that the President had been shot and was in grave condition.

The room went absolutely silent and I'll never forget the look on the face of our teacher. Bill MacNeill, Korean War Marine veteran, and both the toughest and best lay teacher in the school, looked momentarily as though he would break down. Then, he recovered himself and asked that we pray silently while he went to check for more details. He returned moments later, announced that the President was dead, and recited the De Profundis.

School was dismissed a few minutes later and, as we left the buildings, everyone stopped and watched as the custodial staff lowered the flag to half-mast, with tears unabashedly running down their faces. We virtually all rode public transportation and the usually noisy train ride, surrounded by students from other public and private high schools, was deathly silent except for the sobs of many of those from the girls' high schools. (Boys weren't supposed to cry in those days, but there were a lot of covert glances exchanged, with all of us wondering if we would hold up until we were in the privacy of our homes.)

The other moment that remained with me over the decades was the rendering of honors at the graveside by the young soldiers of the Irish Army Cadet Honor Guard.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."

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