Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Last Hero?

Keith here.

Today is the anniversary of the death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States. Each year since 1963, when November 22 slithers across the calendar, I remember that day and those that followed. The shock. The widow’s blood-stained dress. The riderless horse. The son’s salute.

In office President Kennedy stood for culture, for civil rights. He was a family man and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, a student of history. Now we know the truth is far more nuanced in each case. (I visited the Kennedy Library and saw his college transcript: D+ in European History.)

I do yearn for those days when we had heroes. Remember? I did have heroes growing up, but none have lasted. Even if JFK was not the hero we thought, he did perform heroic acts. I’ve read the transcripts of the Executive Committee that met during the Cuban Missile Crisis. There he deserves his reputation. The generals wanted to bomb Cuba and invade it. He did save the world from nuclear war. And I must admit his inauguration address still inspires.

So for me November 22 is more than that horrible day when our president was murdered. In retrospect my listening over the school loudspeakers as a pre-teenaged boy was the beginning of growing up, of knowing how little can be counted on in this world we live in.

P.S. This is my last regular post on InkSpot. I want to thank my fellow Inkers for letting me tag along. Thanks also to those of you who read my blatherings and commented. It's been a great community. If anyone wants to see what I'm up to, keep an eye on my website and my personal blog. Friend me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. See you around the Web!

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