Amy at Texas Faith: Why do we still feel the loss of JFK as a nation?

TEXAS FAITH: Why does the nation still pause 50 years after JFK’s death?


At the end of this week, Americans will pause to observe the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s death. We in Dallas particularly will be in the middle of the observation. The assassination, of course, happened here. And Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has put together a gathering at Dealey Plaza to commemorate the anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination.

Why is it that the nation still pauses 50 years after his death?

The country has never really looked back on the assassination of any our other leaders, except perhaps that of Abraham Lincoln. So, is this just part of the Kennedy mystique?

Or does this national moment of reflection say something about an innate human need to have princes we look up to, even if the scriptures warn against putting one’s faith in princes?

Or are we pausing because we still wonder what might have happened if an assassin’s bullet had not put the country on a different course?

Or was it only one assassin? I think so, but the open question for some creates a giant sense of mystery around his death. Is that why we keep focusing on November 22? Does the mystery draw us in?

Or do we stop to reflect because he was having an impact on the country that was suddenly aborted?

Or here’s one more thought: Is November 22 now mostly a media creation?

Obviously, there are many different angles here. And there are many more. But from your perspective: Why does the nation still pause 50 years after John Kennedy’s assassination?

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AMY MARTIN, Director Emeritus of Earth Rhythms and Writer/editor Moonlady News Newsletter

As Henry David Thoreau said, “To regret deeply is to live afresh.” Every numerically significant JFK assassination anniversary resurrects our regret. The 60th will be the same. “What if?” is the primal question behind all life’s drama, real and fictional. Beauty nipped in the bud is the font of many tears. The unfinished novel beckons eternally. All these converge in the need for JFK commemorations. But would JFK have even approved? “Change is the law of life,” he said. “And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”