He came in June, towards what must have been the end of the school year. But I seem to
remember the teachers herding all the students to line up along the street near our school because the President’s motorcade would be passing by.
Being so young, I doubt I fully understood the importance of the man nor the office he held. I
certainly didn’t realize that his too short life would end just five months later (on this very day, as it so happens). But I can remember the excitement of seeing the President, even if for a brief instant, while his car passed by. The wave of a hand,
and then he was gone.
It was a time of positive and negative possibilities. A time of looking forward, confidently into a
future where man would begin the journey to the moon and back. But it was also a time of racial strife, of a widening war in Vietnam, and the threat of nuclear holocaust.
Still, there was an air of optimism during that hot summer day. Yes, there were many problems. But
we were confident that these problems could and would be solved.
Recently, current President George Bush laid over on the way back from a visit to Asian
countries. Three Honolulu Police Officers, assigned to protect the President’s motorcade, were
injured, one critically and the others seriously, when the officers’ motorcycles skidded out of control
on a wet road.
In looking at a photo of
the incident and seeing the Secret Service agents and medical staff feverishly attending to the officers, I am filled with flashbacks of other times and places. No, I am not equating what happened to the officers with
the shootings/assassination. But the photo brings back memories, not all them good. May
we not have to endure such dark times again.
Our best wishes and prayers for the officers and their families.