Today, I’m participating in a Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop, and I chose this prompt:
1.) How old were you? Share one of the first news stories you remember caring
I was ten years old and in the fifth grade.
Out on the playground, at afternoon recess, a classmate told me that President Kennedy had just been killed. I don’t remember how she heard this news while we were at school. (We were rather isolated at school in those days, with just one phone in the office.)
As a ten-year old, I just couldn’t grasp the severity of the situation. Oh, I knew it was bad, but there was so much I didn’t understand. And I’m sure most adults felt that way too.
In the next few days, I would hear, for the first time, the word “Rotunda”, when it was announced that President Kennedy’s body would lie in state there.
My mother would notice how many times Walter Cronkite mindlessly took his glasses off and immediately put them back on as he was reading the latest news reports. And we watched him fight back tears as he confirmed President Kennedy’s death, then quickly regain his composure.
We would watch photos of the President and Mrs. Kennedy as they were shown over and over again.
Although there would be many tears in the days to come, the first time I recall crying that week was when I saw a picture on tv of Jackie Kennedy’s long stemmed red roses lying in a heap on the floor of the limo.
“As the shots were fired, Jackie turned to look at JFK, and in the process the
red roses began to slide to the floor.” Quote from JFK Assassination Presidential Limousine SS100X.
In the days to come, we would watch as, on live tv, three-year old John-John Kennedy saluted his dad’s coffin, as Mrs. Kennedy kissed the coffin. And as Lee Harvey Oswald was shot to death by Jack Ruby.
As a ten-year old, I had no idea that I was watching so many historic events take place in those few short days.
Linking up to Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop