Remembering JFK, a time most boomers will never forget

Fifty-three years ago. Can you believe it? Fifty-three years since that dismal day in Dallas. Fifty-three years since a gunman turned our world, and our innocence, upside down. BoomerCafé co-founder and publisher David Henderson was raised in the Washington DC area, and carries with him not just the sorrowful memory, but a meaningful photograph.

It was a time that many if not most baby boomers will never forget. Where were you, what were you doing?

I stood on the hill at Arlington Cemetery on a cold day in December 1963, while our nation still was in shock, and took this image of the thousands of people who were coming night and day to pay their respects at the grave of President John F. Kennedy. He had been assassinated in Dallas less than two weeks before.  November 22, 1963.

I remember the silence. The stillness. The sorrow.

The President’s resting place was surrounded by a white picket fence back then. It is also surrounded by our memories, and our affection, still.

Photo by David E Henderson

Photo by David E Henderson

11 Comments

    1. I remember that day – was in 4th grade in Bethel Park, PA. Someone came in and whispered to Mrs. Endress, and she put her head down on the desk. But she never told us what happened. Strange.

  1. I remember that day clearly. Weather was cool, news was horrible. I cried for what could have been and for what was lost.. JFK was not a perfect man, but he loved this country!

  2. I was in grade 9. It was when we were all near our lockers and the announcement of it came over the PA system. I didn’t know exactly what impact it would have but I knew it was important especially because I’m a Canadian and it was announced in our high school in London Ontario. I’m reminded of it every year because today is the birthday of one of my brothers – he was only one when it happened,

  3. Tremendous photo, David. I remember everything about that day. I was in sixth grade. The following three days are also emblazoned in my memory. We should never gloss over this date. Thank you for the reminder.

    1. Thank you to everyone for your comments and memories. Wish I could recall what camera I took that image with but it was 35mm using Kodak Tri-X film. The coldness of that day was forgotten in the sorrow.

  4. It was evening on this side of the Atlantic when the news came through. I had been at a concert by the Dubliners and was returning home by bus when someone shared the news. Yes, I certainly remember where I was.

  5. I was in the second grade, I remember it well — a teacher coming in and telling my teacher and the feeling of sadness surrounding us.

  6. I was in the second grade, in Mrs McGrath’s class at St. Clare’s Grammar School in Lyndhurst, OH. The Reverend Mother came into each classroom to deliver the news to the teacher and then the students. We immediately walked single file in our plaid uniforms across the recess blacktop under steely skies to a mass in church. I did not completely understand what had happened but I knew it was serious because all the adults were in tears.

  7. I was in Australia with my family, on holiday on an island. My sister and I were sent to the shop to get milk. The shopkeeper asked us what we thought about JFK’s death. We didn’t know what had happened till then and rushed back to tell Dad, who did not believe we had got the story right. He immediately went to the shopkeeper to ask about details and we listened to the radio the rest of the day. There were no TVs on the island. The whole world was changed for me then. It was a scary and sad time.

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