Past and President

President Jonh F. Kennedy in Hawaii.In 1963, I had barely started
going to school when then President John
F. Kennedy visited Hawaii
(follow this link to the speech he gave upon his arrival).

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
, one critically and the others seriously, when the officers’ motorcycles skidded out of control
on a wet road.

Secret Service rendering aid to fallen police officer.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.

Bobby Kennedy laying on the ground at the Ambassador Hotel.Kent State, Ohio shooting.



One response to “Past and President

  1. Dan,
    I remember that time like it was yesterday. I was only ten, but when the nun came on the PA System and anounced that the President had been shot and later when the Priest at our Friday Benidiction announced that the President was dead, I cried.
    I also remember the horible 1968 when both RFK and Martin Luther King were killed.
    Then there was that horible May 4th in 1970. I was a Senior in High School. I cried then too.
    I also second you hope that we don’t fall back into those black, black times.