Dear Boys and Girls … please bow your heads and say a prayer for President Kennedy

November 22, 1963

“Dear Boys and Girls … please bow your heads and say a prayer for President Kennedy, who was shot and killed today in Dallas, Texas.”

Me — Third grade, 8 years old and carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. At the end of the school day, I ran home to find my mom glued to the television set watching the scene unfold again and again. Her handsome, young, Irish Catholic President was dead.  His photo was on our wall next to the photo of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and next to the statue of St. Jude.

The entire house was quiet and sad. I didn’t understand it all but I knew something had shifted in our world.

What about you? What do you remember?

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2 thoughts on “Dear Boys and Girls … please bow your heads and say a prayer for President Kennedy

  1. Mrs. Fatigate, our principal, burst into our third grade classroom and whispered to our teacher, Miss Donahue. They were both crying and Miss Donahue said, “Children, the president has just been shot.” I started bawling out loud. But as she kept talking I realized that she meant President Kennedy and not the president of the PTA. I felt really weird cuz I was happy it was Kennedy and not my friend’s mom, and so guilty for feeling happy.

    OH how strong the memory is of the next few days…so surreal with the whole world glued to the tv sets and crying. No normal dinners, no school, no playing. Yes, it was a complete world shift even though we kids didn’t really understand.

    Was on the living room floor over at Grandma’s house when Ruby shot Oswald…it was broadcast live on tv. Grandma screamed and hugged me close. It felt like the world was going crazy.

    • November is a month full of those memories for me. And for each tragedy, I can remember where I was, what I was thinking, how I felt and my observations of those around me. It’s always good when I have great memories to recall of my childhood, because it seems they are what I can recall and remember the best (for instance, I don’t have a clue what I did over the weekend but in the 3rd grade I ….) — Great to hear from you!

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