The 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination

The Kennedy assassination is just a moment in history for me and my peers - a tragic moment, yes, but just another historical moment such as World War II or the assassination of Abraham Lincoln for that matter. For my parents' generation, however, it is probably a defining moment. Like 9/11 is for me, but won't be for my daughter. It wasn't the first time an American president was assassinated, but it was the first time in modern memory that Americans felt that vulnerability and in a very scary Cold War era to boot. And I think the mystique continues because 50 years later we still don't have answers to what happened. But 50 years later, I know everyone who lived through that moment can still remember where they were when they heard the news November 22, 1963.

This picture was taken earlier in Kennedy's term and I've posted it before, but I'll post it again. My grandfather is in it, and it's just one example of how our own personal histories are intertwined with world history at large, History if you will; that the family members we look for and remember are not just names and dates or part of our own personal stories - they are people in a larger time and place.

President John F. Kennedy and my grandfather, Elmer Gorry (second from right)