Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

November 22, 2013

Remembering JFK

VALDOSTA — We are in the second longest period in American history that the nation has not experienced the death of a sitting President.

The longest stretch is 52 years, the period from George Washington being the first president in 1789 with no sitting-presidential deaths until President William Henry Harrison died a month after his inauguration in 1841.

We are now at 50 years since the brutal assassination of President John F. Kennedy, who died Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas.

That span may well be part of the reason why there is so much discussion of his loss today on the anniversary of Kennedy’s death.

From 1841 to 1963, every generation experienced a president dying while in office. During that period of time, most Americans experienced more than one presidential death.

Though the nation wept and grieved at the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died while Americans still fought World War II, who had led the nation for an unprecedented 12-plus years, through the Great Depression and horrific war, there were no massive public remembrances at the 50th anniversary of his death in 1995, not like the ones that have been printed, aired and held for Kennedy in the past several weeks.

Kennedy was young. He did not die of illness. He was shot. Not only was he shot in public but in front of his terrified wife. The first television President, his death and funeral became one of television’s communal events. Everyone watched the funeral coverage and with a pool camera broadcasting everything, everyone watched the same images and the same perspective no matter the network. And we have thankfully not lost a sitting President to death since.

Anyone in their mid 50s and younger has no perception of the immediate chaos such a death causes, of the constitutional transfer of power, of the impact it can have on everything from the stock market to the military movements of other nations.

We have no idea, and hopefully, we will not know such a crisis ever again. Not knowing, however, may kindle our curiosity. Not knowing may be part of why we look back today: What was it like? How did the nation react? How did our leaders react? How did people react?

For years, the old question used to be, where were you when you learned JFK was killed? At 50, fewer people can answer this question. The majority would now must answer, they had yet to be born.

On this anniversary date, let us remember the man who passed, let us remember a time gone by, and let us pray that such a moment does not occur again.

1
Text Only
What We Think
  • If I were mayor

    Each year, the City of Valdosta holds an essay contest, “If I Were Mayor,” with students in the area writing their ideas about what they would do as the head of the city.

    April 16, 2014

  • The real lessons of a mock drill

    Valdosta High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions held a powerful mock demonstration Monday morning on the school’s campus.

    April 14, 2014

  • Kudos to VPD

    Followed by a stellar report on Sunday about the drop in the crime rate in the City of Valdosta, city police officers prove their worth once again by arresting a dangerous fugitive in our community.

    April 13, 2014

  • It just plain stinks

    After every rain event, the pungent smell of sewage can be detected around the rivers and streams of south Georgia, and Florida residents brace for more to float their way.

    April 13, 2014

  • Pennsylvania school stabbings: Why?

    The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday, April 10:

    April 11, 2014

  • European bans on emails unlikely in America

    Several European countries are banning work emails to employees before and after normal working hours, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., in an effort to curb the perceived abuse of employees by corporations.

    April 11, 2014

  • Strength of character

    It was an unusual friendship — a tiny 8-year old girl with long blonde hair and the 6’10” Michigan State basketball player.

    April 10, 2014

  • Daly’s return a boost for Valdosta

    Flashy, colorful and always a hit with the fans for his long drives and humble demeanor, John Daly’s return to Kinderlou Forest and the South Georgia Classic is a boon for Valdosta.

    April 9, 2014

  • Too many pinwheels

    April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, with numerous volunteers assisting the Child Advocacy Center in placing pinwheels on the lawn of the Valdosta City Hall. Each pinwheel represents one child that was a victim of abuse in 2013. Volunteers placed 887 pinwheels in remembrance.

    April 8, 2014

  • Take some kid time this week

    Spring break returns this week for many South Georgia schools. Both Valdosta and Lowndes County school systems are out through the week for the traditional spring break.

    April 6, 2014

Top News
Poll

What you think about school and workplace rules about Facebook friends?

There have to be rules.
No need for rules, just use common sense.
If people want to be friends, what is the big deal?
Nobody uses Facebook anymore.
     View Results