Tuesday, November 19, 2013

4 Kids | November 22, 1963

About two years ago, my friend Amy and I traveled to Maryland to visit our good buddy, Lloyd. Many of you might remember Lloyd who was my puppet partner extraordinaire. He was the voice of Fizzer the Dog, Tacky the Penguin's dear but dimwitted friend. Oh those were fun times.
So Amy and I boarded a plane and headed east. We had a great visit. Spent a day in Williamsburg and another in Washington, D.C. So much to see! I absolutely loved our time in the Smithsonian Institution.
But what I really, really wanted to do was visit Arlington National Cemetery. We went there on our last day. It had snowed the night before, so the cemetery was covered in a beautiful blanket of pure white snow. It was breathtaking.
I have waited years (and years) to visit the grave of President John F. Kennedy and see the eternal flame. Finally, the day had arrived.
We made our way toward the hill that leads up to the gravesite. We were so close. But then an Arlington staff person informed us that the gravesite was closed because the walkway was iced over.
What? Really? To say I was disappointed is like the most major understatement ever.
I just stood there in disbelief.
No one else was around but me and my buddy Lloyd.
We stood there for several minutes.
Then that Arlington staff person walked behind me and said, "We're going to open up the walkway. You can go up."
And I did. All by myself. All I can say is that those moments standing there in front of the eternal flame, paying my respects, were more incredible than words can describe. Even as I sit here remembering those moments, my heart quickens. In truth, it was a life-changing moment.
This week we are remembering the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. Just about every person over the age of 55 can probably tell you exactly where he/she was the moment the news broke of the assassination. I'll be honest....I was alive when it happened, but just barely. I was in a crib and was way too young to know what was happening.
And just as everyone over 55 remembers that fateful day, every person has a different reaction.
As I look back, President Kennedy represented a new hope for our country. Who knows what else he might have accomplished? So young. So tragic.
I'm sorry that this blog is a bit depressing. But November 22, 1963 was a very depressing day.
You'll find a whole bunch of biographies on President Kennedy in a library near you.
If you want to gain a better understanding of the assassination, check out Bill O'Reilly's Kennedy's Last Days: The Assassination That Defined a Generation. It's a gripping account of the most notorious crime of the 20th century. It's history. It's important.
Until next week, be well.

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