Texas is another country...

Texas is another country...I have driven into Texas from all four directions and can affirm that after crossing that imaginary state line you just know you are in Texas . The world becomes wide open space, the sky feels higher, you can stretch out and rest a spell.

Monday, November 25, 2013

John F. Kennedy Assassination in Dallas

Post by Alana Cash

I was in algebra class at Lowell Junior High in San Antonio when the announcement came over the intercom that President Kennedy had been shot and killed in Dallas.  It took a while for me to actually absorb it.  The President had just been in San Antonio the day before and promised to return to dedicate the newly-built John F. Kennedy High School that was on McMullen Drive right outside Kelly AFB where I was living with my family.   I don’t remember crying, but I do remember feeling ashamed that this had happened in Texas

For a while, Kelly AFB was on high alert.  Kelly AFB was a repair and maintenance base for aircraft, and Air Force planes flew to Kelly from all over the world. Before November 23rd, the MPs at the gates had flagged everyone through easily with hardly a look at the driver.  After the assasination, the MPs stopped cars that didn’t have KAFB stickers in the window.  

There was so much confusion between the different law enforcement agencies in Dallas, and so much misinformation disseminated, that no one knew for certain how the assassination had happened or who was involved.  The military thinking was that if the assassination did not involve our enemies, it could provide an opportunity for them.  Johnson was sworn in as president within hours.  Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested within hours and murdered by Jack Ruby the next day.  It all seemed very weird and convenient. 

Conspiracy theories were and are still rampant.  Considering that it took decades for the public to learn that Jackie Kennedy was a chain smoker and JFK had continual affairs, it seems probable that there still are obscured facts surrounding the assassination.  Oswald may not have been guilty – other employees at the book depository testified they saw him in the kitchen minutes after the first shot fired.  When Oswald was killed, however, there was closure to an awful event.  No need for a trial to prove he did or didn’t do it just a focus for blame and a way to ease the grief and turn the event toward mythology.  But there were ragged edges in the mythology, because not only did Oswald not confess, he refuted the accusations. 

In the end, what difference would it make if we knew for certain what actually happened?  Our President was gone in a shocking and devastating manner, never to return.  While it might be nice if our need for closure to these tragic events were put to rest by, not only convincing, but actual facts, it wouldn’t bring justice or change the way the public thinks about the government.  A Congress with a 9% approval rating has already pretty much lost the public trust.

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