I’m back, and ready to roll! I hope none of you have been worried; I am just up to my eyeballs in my new book, NORTH OF EDEN, the first in my Civil War series. All of my energy and then some has been going into that.
On this day in 1963, I was in high school (I know, I know–some of you weren’t even born in 1963, let alone in high school!), in my hometown of Northport, Washington, when one of the teachers opened the classroom door and quietly told us that the President had been shot in Dallas. If you were around back then, you probably remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when the word came.
We were all subdued, but at that point, we didn’t know how serious President Kennedy’s injuries were, but the tragic announcement wasn’t long in coming. We were all in shock, as were our parents and teachers, of course. School was dismissed early, though there were no cries of joy as there would have been on any other day. There was a scruffy skiff of snow on the ground, as I recall, and the flag in the schoolyard had been lowered to half-mast.
Everyone was numb with shock; nothing as devastating as this as this had happened to America as a nation since December 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor was bombed. It didn’t seem possible. JFK was so young and handsome, and he had such a beautiful family. How could he be dead? And yet he was. I will never forget the images of Jackie, our gracious First Lady, boarding Air Force One in the aftermath of the shooting, in her blood-stained pink suit, and, later, standing with her children, dignified in her black garb, or JFK, Jr.’s tiny hand raised in salute as the riderless horse and went by. It was utterly heartbreaking and yet, like the attacks of September 11, 2001, Americans set aside their political differences and stood together.
I promise tomorrow’s blog will be much more cheerful, and the contests will resume next Monday, so please be sure to enter. All you need to do is comment, and you’re in.
God bless you, and God bless America.
In the words of Winston Churchill, “Let us go forward together.”