To many people, particularity, those who were involved with the President, or his family or the event itself, this day overshadows, December 7,1941.
What we lost as a nation, cannot be measured, by time, or his works, only by his potential works.
I have been a amateur student of history for a number of years, and one of the subjects that come up repeatedly is Kennedy . No one disputes his human flaws, his issues with pain, pills, his fondness for woman, And definitely not his ability to deal with a crisis and in many ways his wisdom beyond his years.
Never since him has the president enjoyed a backing from the people he has, Obama sort of did, at the beginning, but this had long since gone. Kennedy was a hero when the country needed a hero. he was young, vital, maybe a little more vital then he should have been, But he a a Kennedy, and Kennedy's could do no wrong, or at least very little wrong.
No other President gets a whole month devoted to him on prime time airtime 50 years after his death. The question when become when did the man go from being just a well-liked President to a mortal myth, was it sudden, or a slow evolution? I suspect it was a combination of both. His war record, saving PT-109. and just his ability to get every morning and do the hardest job in the world, with all of his health issues, Granted his health issues were minimized, and affairs with woman were for most part a badly kept secret, no one talked about. But when push came to shove, he stood his ground, and stood on the principles he believed in personally and for the United States.
I have watched probably every television show, documentary about him, his home movies, American Experience, on PBS, and many shows about shooting itself, theories, and who did what, why, etc. Suffice to say, I have my own ideas, given what I've heard on the various shows, whether I'm right wrong, or somewhere in the middle will probably never be known, as most of the players are now gone.
The image of Jackie Kennedy reaching across the back of the limo, trying to catch her husband is forever etched into the brain of America. History experts would love to go back and replace all of the old cameras with our new cameras, maybe we wouldn't get much different in the actual shots, but the quality of the film, stills would be vastly improved, and thus shed more light on what really happened in Daley Plaza November 22, 1963. Unfortunately, that can't happen, so we're stuck with having to work with what we have some good, some ok, and a lot not as good as it could have been.
The funeral, with His son saluting his dad, just the way Jackie had taught him, only weeks before, Johnson's swearing on in Air force one, with Jackie Kennedy there next to him still covered with JFK's blood,
Suddenly it was like a dream was over, only instead of a gentle awaking to a smiling face, America, was hit in the face with a grim reality, there were and are very bad people out there who don't like us, and don't care who they hurt, or how they get their message across. Unfortunately, it hasn't changed in 50 years. The Very Bad People are still out there, and they're getting nastier and less afraid to use terrorism or any other means needed to to accomplish their goals.
We are now attacked on several fronts, both from inside, and external, Many of the political situations, we find ourselves in now, can be traced back to JFK, either directly or indirectly. Decisions he made or would have made about Vietnam, and internal policies would have shaped the course for the next 50 years. But we'll never know what he would have done, how he would have handled Vietnam in the early stages, and how that would affect the long term outcome of the war. That's not even counting the many questions about civil rights and other issues here at home. All of this has been speculated on over the years by many people smarter then me, and by people who knew the Kennedy's.
But was never just about JFK, there was always a mystic about the whole Kennedy clan. Yes they were rich, Joe Kennedy had made his billions many years ago, was was in a position to use it to advance his children''s careers, particularly the boys, He may have opened the doors but they had to step though and stand on their own, and they did.
So the basic question come back to why is there such a mystic about the Kennedy's, particularly President Kennedy? There are a lot of reason. I think to many it all of the unanswered questions, and seeing his assassination on live tv, The tragedy of a life cut short, just when he was getting started, Kennedy understood that ones time here on earth was limited, his in particular, He was trying to get as much done as he could while he could. He could never imagined that his time would end so soon and violently and publicly.