Post by Alana Cash
I was in algebra class at Lowell Junior High in
when the announcement came over the intercom that President Kennedy
had been shot and killed in San Antonio . It took a while for me to actually absorb
it. The President had just been in Dallas the day before and promised to return to dedicate the
newly-built San Antonio that was on John F. Kennedy High School 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
, 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.