It wasn't long till we heard another knock on the classroom door. The Principal, with a bit of a quiver in her elderly voice, told us that President Kennedy had died. He had been killed by a gunshot from someone nearby.
Thoughts of an accidental shooting were erased by the introduction of a long-lettered new word into my vocabulary and that of my peers. Assassination was the multi-syllabled term that left its lasting impression on our young minds. It had as many "s" letters as Mississippi but would never become part of a child's rhyme like the name of that state. The assassination of President Kennedy was a tragedy that impacted everyone.
In a pre-Internet/Twitter/Facebook era, citizens of the world looked to the print media and the television. We saw bold newspaper headlines and heard the grief and mourning of a nation while our families and communities also mourned the loss of a man who had come to be a symbol of hope and promise, especially since the scary days of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
It is five decades, now, since the tragedy. Still, the world is left with many questions about the event.
Most of all, we are left wondering, much like the 10-year old me who, sadly, learned a new vocabulary word on November 22, 2013.
Still, I wonder why?
In the spirit of today's vernacular,