Friday, November 22, 2013

A Day that Personified a Decade

It is very hard to believe fifty years has come and gone since that fateful day in Dallas. Generations have come and gone and some of the latest barely know of John F. Kennedy's assassination.  It is a shame that the event and events surrounding it are already just a brushstroke in history. Probably no more than a page or two in today's history books. Perspective is everything when interpreting events and to get the proper perspective on Kennedy's death you have to take in the sixties as a whole. The dowdy administration of the Eisenhower's was exiting the world stage and a young, vibrant couple was taking over. Just a look at Mamie and Jackie side by side told the story. The ugly face of racism was sweeping the country and racial equality for everyone would boost the civil rights movement. The Beatles were headed for the United States and most of us know what that meant. Our boys were fighting and dying in a humid, remote hell called Vietnam. The race to the moon was on and the Cold War between the United States and Russia simmered in the foreground; still smoldering from the Cuban Missile Crisis. How ironic that the events in Cuba would change the face of the nation forever as the first mass of fleeing refugees landed in south Florida. It would be difficult to imagine the Miami of today without the Cuban influence. Student unrest would percolate through the colleges of the country fueled by drug use and hatred of the aforementioned Vietnam war. The country was at least unified in its opposition to Vietnam and support of getting to the moon in the decade. The country was being tore apart and never would be the same. Unfortunately the hallmarks of the decade were the assassinations, including Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. Tragically, toward the end of the decade, John F. Kennedy's brother Robert would be struck down by an assassin. I remember listening to Dion sing Abraham, Martin and John- how poignantly that song captured the decade. Rest in peace JFK.

No comments:

Post a Comment