Fifty years ago today I was sitting in my high school English class. The teacher had left the door open to the hall and I was sitting up front closest to the doorway. I heard someone, another teacher, out in the hall say the President has been shot. I repeated this to the classroom full of students, and our teacher exclaimed, “Don’t say that!” Then she scurried into the hall, returning a few moments later to confirm what I had overheard. I think we were released early from school but can’t clearly remember. I spent that weekend glued to our little old black and white TV, along with my parents. We saw Oswald shot and cheered Jack Ruby. We were probably wrong to do that, but like many, we were so overcome with emotion that Ruby seemed like a hero at the time.
Today my husband and I are glued to our 52 inch plasma TV, watching the ceremonies in Dallas, our neighbor city, only 30 miles east of Fort Worth, where we live — where JFK spent his last night on earth. There was a moment of silence at 12:30 our time and church bells rang out all over Dallas. I cry now, just as I did back then on that mournful day.