November 22, 2005

Nov. 22, 1963

(Reposted from 11/22/03)

On November 22, 1963 I was a 13-year old 8th grader at Edgar Allen Poe Intermediate in Alexandria, Va. It was an ordinary school day until about 2:20 in the afternoon, when we were changing classrooms, and suddenly a rumor was flying that the President had been shot. That was confirmed about 10 minutes later, and we were sent home early. I got home to find my mother in shock (Dad was in Antarctica), and we spent the remainder of the weekend, as did so many other Americans, glued to the TV screen. We were in disbelief, of course; "this doesn't happen in America," we thought. Of course, it had happened before, as we all quickly learned. That weekend I learned more about McKinley, Garfield, Harrison and other Presidential deaths in office than I'd ever learned before. I was fortunate enough to wangle a ride to Arlington Cemetery on that Monday, the 25th, where I stood about 500-1000 yards from the gravesite, along with many many other people. Neither Mom nor I have any memory of who I got a ride with, why she felt it was OK for me to go, or any other details. I just remember standing there among all those people, trying to make sense of it.

Who else has memories of that weekend?

Posted by Linkmeister at November 22, 2005 09:24 AM | TrackBack

Wow, what an interesting story! It's bittersweet, I imagine, to be standing there, watching the burial unfold.

Why was your dad in Antarctica? remeberances are here, as you know.

Posted by: actor212 at November 23, 2005 02:45 AM

He was a Navy civil engineer in charge of utilities, water, etc. at McMurdo Sound.

Posted by: Linkmeister at November 23, 2005 09:30 AM

As we've discussed before, I wrote about the single most history-changing day in my lifetime last year and the year before.

Posted by: N in Seattle at November 23, 2005 02:56 PM