Kennedy’s Legacy Lives On!

Dallas is preparing for Friday's 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, and hoping to show how much the city has changed. photo credit tom Pennington/Getty Images

Dallas is preparing for Friday’s 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and hoping to show how much the city has changed. photo credit tom Pennington/Getty Images

I was about 5 years old when John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.  I remember sitting beside my grandmother in her room when we were still living in Manila.  When the news flashed, my grandmother let out a religious expletive and made the sign of the cross. Then she started to cry.  We both sat riveted to the television screen.  Even at that age, I felt that something terrible had happened. The world lost a significant individual.

There is no doubt that the assassination of any president impacts greatly on a country. But  the emotional cataclysm brought about by Kennedy’s assassination was felt all over the world, not just in the United States.  He was admired for his eloquent speeches, his good looks and charm, his picture-perfect family and heritage. All this contributed to a fairy tale-like White House, critics have sniffed.

Over the years some historians have been very critical of his presidency and all the adulation Kennedy has garnered, even after his death.  Some have criticized his foreign policy.  His image as a devoted family man was mired with scandals like the Marilyn Monroe fiasco.  Then there were the health issues and the drugs to keep him alert and with it for all the various challenges on his plate.  Even the Civil Rights activists were annoyed with the delays in his signing an executive order to end segregation.  And so on and so forth.

Naysayers have attributed the perseverance of the Kennedy mystique to baby boomers who have held him on a pedestal and his continued presence in everyone’s memories, no matter how some may be hyperbolic, is validation to baby boomers’ perceived grandiose self-image.

Naysayers aside, this president continues to be well-loved. Just listen to the stories of how Dallas suffered after his death, as the city where it happened.  Dallas had to work its way to credibility and favor several years after the fateful day!

My memories of Kennedy growing up were his famous speeches.  The “ask not…” line is most prominent in my mind.  Also, one his favorite poets was Robert Frost.  One favorite Frost work was:

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

You know what? They can say all they want. But a president is someone we all turn to for inspiration.  Kennedy was a charismatic leader.  He knew what it was to be an inspirational figure in those tumultuous times.  He called on everyone to set aside their own ambitions and join forces for equality and peace. He gave people hope that the future will be better. That’s why his legacy lives on.

This entry was posted in 50th Anniversary of Kennedy Assasination, BlogHer, Daily Prompt, John F. Kennedy, John F. Kennedy Assassination, YeahWrite and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Kennedy’s Legacy Lives On!

  1. frizztext says:

    Dallas, called the CITY OF HATE – days before the JFK killing many hate-flyers vs. him were published there …

  2. I can’t believe it was 50 years! I was in first grade !

  3. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Fifty years! I remember that day too, I was just a little older than you. I knew he was gone but I didn’t understand why, still don’t.

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