On the afternoon of November 22, 1963, our grade eleven history class at Campbellford District High School was interrupted by the principal with news that would eventually become perhaps the most defining moment in history for Baby Boomers. American President John F. Kennedy had been shot in Dallas, Texas. As soon as we got home from school, we stayed planted in front of our twenty-one-inch black and white television sets watching the drama of his death and funeral unfold over the next few days. Every form of media was dedicated to the event.
Fifty-two years later, I was appalled that this tragic day in history was largely forgotten in the media and upstaged by an embarrassment of circus clowns vying for President Kennedy’s job. How far we’ve fallen. While TV news programs were reporting the demented ravings from the asylum of presidential candidates, Boomers quietly remember that horrible day in 1963 when our optimism and hopes were shot through with bullets.
Lester B. Pearson was our own Prime Minister at the time but young Canadians forever identified with the Kennedy ethos. We eventually grew up, got jobs, raised families and many of us are now retired. But we will forever remember that horrible day in November 1963, made even more tragic by the fact that the world has now come to this. How could we have let this happen? I mourn for us all.