Few seem to recall JFK's death

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By Jim Clark

Last weekend while dial-doodling around by TV, I came across a fascinating story called "The Search for John Wilkes Booth," about the manhunt for Lincoln's assassin. There's been a lot of Civil War stuff on for some reason, and this one was pretty good.

But what I was looking for was some material on an assassination anniversary that's coming up, and I couldn't find a whole lot on the channels.

Saturday is the 45th anniversary of the killing of President John F. Kennedy.

This weekend is another big 45th anniversary for me, but more on that later.

That Kennedy assassination is something that all students should be studying closely in history, because of its significance.

We had just come through the peaceful late 1950s, we had elected a youthful, exuberant president, and even though not all agreed with his policies, all was well in the land.

Lee Harvey Oswald's bullets shattered that in an instant. It was the beginning of an era of discontent, of protests and the decay of morals that we still see today. It was the loss of innocence for our country. We were now no better than the other nations of the world that gunned down the political leaders they didn't like.

As those of us who experienced the reaction in the country first-hand get a little older and in many cases start to drift away, we would hope that the youngsters of today would be taught the significance of this one major event.

But it has become a footnote in history, dwarfed by such events as the Vietnam War and 9-11, both of which are certainly worth remembering.

That assassination, though, was such a shock to the psyche of this nation. It should never be forgotten, yet I fear that the next generation will not remember the significance.

ANOTHER ANNIVERSARY: 'Fess up, guys. How many of you remember the exact month and day of your first date with your spouse?

For me, it's easy. We went to a movie 45 years ago Sunday. That's right, our first date was the day after Kennedy was killed.

With choices limited because of the assassination, we ended up watching the movie "Lawrence of Arabia," which I once described as hours of sand. Still, things must have gone well, because she said I could see her again and now here we are, approaching 44 years of marriage, four kids and almost 10 grandchildren later.

It was the best thing to come out of that Kennedy weekend.

Jim Clark is the editor of the Williston Pioneer Sun News. He can be reached at editor@willistonpioneer.com or at 528-3343.