Greetings and salutations from the sand, sun and surf of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and the cold and cloudy island of Nantucket! Great to be with you on this somber Friday, the 22nd day of November, 2013, with the weather outside, looking out onto the Harbor Lighthouse, reflecting the mood of said day, for it was on this date fifty years ago that our 35th President of the United States of America was shot down in cold blood on the sunny streets of Dallas with tens of thousands looking on. As the parade route that took the limousine carrying Kennedy and the First Lady, Jackie, down the street of the infamous book depository building, three shots rang out, with one missing the President and two finding their target. Seconds after the assault, that limo sped away to the nearest hospital, with Jackie cradling part of Jack’s head in her lap. Many knew right then and there the awful fact that our beloved leader was no more, with CBS’ Walter Cronkite coming on live television confirming that fact as tears welled up in his eyes. Jack Kennedy and the rest of that amazing family did, and still does, represent what is GREAT about America. If it were not for the courage of this great man, perhaps most, if not all of US would not be here reading and writing about his life and death today. Many will never know exactly how close we were to a nuclear war with our ‘enemy’ back then, the U.S.S.R., or Soviet Russia, during the Cuban Missile crisis of 1962, but according to that 13 day stand off with the Russians, “it was pretty tense”. Many will never know the power that the “Peace Corp”, that was created by the JFK administration, had and has in this world of conflict and ever present war, but some do, both on the giving side and receiving side of the equation and will be better human beings for this life and the next. Many will never know the man they saw sailing Nantucket Sound on TV, or riding a bike through the streets of Hyannis Port with his beautiful wife and his wonderful children, or just lounging around at his home in beautiful Hyannis Port here on Cape Cod, with the green, green grass overlooking the oceans depths; opening up the doors of “The Kennedy Compound” for any photographer to explore– bringing the new “television era” of Camelot right into our collective living rooms for the first time, yes bringing US ever closer to a man whose popularity poll sits, even fifty years hence, at a 75 percent approval rating. If Jack Kennedy had not been shot on that fateful day fifty years ago, what could have been accomplished? Perhaps the war in Vietnam would have ended much, much sooner. Perhaps the Civil Rights issues of the day would have been more politely and humanly sorted out. Perhaps we would have begun to take better care of our environment… Perhaps. As tragic and sad as Kennedy’s death was, his legacy and lore bring that much more joy and love into this writer’s heart. I cannot help, as I bike to Squaw Island every day–just down the street from the Kennedy Compound here in Hyannis Port–a palpable good feeling as though the Spirit of Kennedy is in the air, a feeling of comfort and of peace, of renewal and the empirical fact that HOPE truly does spring eternal, and if one man could embody that word it was most certainly President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Like the tree you see blooming above you on this cold and stormy November morning, remember that of the great man, for even in death the greater Angels of our souls rise above and breathe new life into the ever present creation that is man. Have a wonderful week end folks and may God Bless this great land! PRESERVE THE WILDERNESS! Peace~M
November 22, 2013
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