I reserve my writings on WordPress for legal matters involving my area of concentration, family law. This article is more of a deviation from that usual subject. This article does have in common those issues of domestic violence that occur in our homes and in society. For that reason, and because I feel compelled to say something in memory of our President, I write the foregoing article.
I remember the Presidential campaign and election of 1960. I was ten years old at the time, but I was totally captured by the “vigah” of JFK and his magnificent oratory. At the time, my mom worked as a legal secretary for a Lawrence attorney who had been an Assistant Attorney General for Eddie McCormick. I think that it was my mother’s initial interest in this political campaign that captured my interest. I watched the television debates. I followed the results on election night that went into the next morning in tabulations. When John F. Kennedy was elected in November of 1960, I wrote him a letter congratulating him. He actually wrote back to me and sent me his official portrait.
Over the course of his very short presidency, I watched his news conferences with my dad, and saw those powerful speeches that he made from his Inaugural Address, his “Ich Bin Ein Berliner” speech, his speech about Civil Rights, his speech about the Cuban Missile conflict. I actually memorized these speeches word for word and still can recite portions of several of them.
I was in my homeroom at Lawrence High School at 2:00 pm on Friday, November 22, 1963, waiting to be dismissed for the weekend, when the announcement about the shooting in Dallas comes over the intercom. My mom picked me up from school that day, so we listened to the radio getting sparse information. I remember Walter Cronkite who was covering the story about Dallas, taking off his black rimmed glasses, choking back emotion, and stating that it had been confirmed that the President was dead.
I do not dwell on the assassination. I do not question the findings of the Warren Commission Report which I purchased, but never read. I have often felt that the memory of the President should be the programs like the Peace Corps, the Alliance for Progress, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and the Civil Rights Legislation that he initiated and President Lyndon Johnson got through Congress.
Since the killing of our President, we baby boomers have witnessed the death of Robert F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, as well as what in current events has become common place: the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan, the shooting of Governor George Wallace, to the present date shootings in schools, movie theaters, the killings and maiming at the Boston Marathon in 2013, just to reference a few.
In Massachusetts we recognize the need to curb violence in our homes among family members. October we recognized the month to emphasize the need to end domestic violence and install legislation that will be enforced to allow our population to live in peace, free of harm.
This November 22, I suggest that we focus on the accomplishments, elegance in language and style, and the respect that our country enjoyed during the Kennedy administration. I suggest that we pledge that this violence that explodes among us on a regular basis end, and that the “best and the brightest” among us join in seminars to determine what can be done to end the violence and still maintain the personal freedoms that we all enjoy in this country.
In 1962, my mom attended a dinner along with her boss in Boston in honor of President Kennedy. She brought home and gave to me a memento from the 1960 election: the PT 109 tie clip that he handed out during the campaign. I still have it. I wear it on my tie daily. I am not professing that our country enjoyed “Camelot” during the Kennedy administration. There are an abundance of arguments that dispel this as myth, but there are lots of good memories as well.