On a weekend talk show I heard the question posed … “which was worse … the Kennedy assassination or 9-11?” On this 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s murder in Dallas, only those who experienced both events are qualified to draw a conclusion.
For me, the Kennedy assassination was more traumatic. Maybe it’s because I was 12 years old at the time and still quite innocent. The shock and mourning lasted for weeks.
Of course, 9-11 was a huge tragedy on many levels … and changed the way we Americans view the threat of terrorism. The Kennedy assassination changed the way we think about government. Fifty years later, a majority of Americans don’t buy the conclusions of the Warren Commission investigation. Dozens of conspiracy theories have eroded the trust Americans once had in their government. We became a nation of doubters, cynics overnight.
Kennedy’s presidency ended too early for a conclusive assessment of what it might have become. There is no doubt in my mind that his killing changed the heart and soul of our nation.
Our thought for today is from Alfred North Whitehead:
“The deepest definition of youth is life as yet untouched by tragedy.”