A celebration of a life cut short by an assassins’ bullet brought downtown Dallas to a standstill on Nov. 22 as city officials planned to celebrate the life of former President John F. Kennedy.
Fifty years ago to the day, and to almost the minute, the regal life of a young president was honored and remembered by thousands of people from around the world. News crews from around the world descended upon Dealey Plaza, at a spot close to where the tragedy began.
The event was a solemn reminder that every life is important, and in this case, the life of Kennedy has been linked to Dallas for a half century.
Following a video tribute to Kennedy’s election and inauguration, city officials described the event as one that should be regarded as dignified and somber.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings reminded people that a new era dawned a half century ago; one that was intended to promote worldwide peace and harmony, yet that message was taken from the families of the world.
“Dallas was barely a century old in 1963, and we all grew up that day because of the tragedy,” Rawlings said. “We honor the life and legacy, and pay tribute to a man who stared down a nuclear threat. We honor a man who promoted peace among young Americans.
Since that time, Dallas has become a city of industry born out of tragedy. He and our city will forever be linked.”
Historian and author David McCullough recited Kenney’s words, saying that they changed history, but more importantly, they still apply today. He said, “Much of what Kennedy said still applies today. Kennedy spoke of things that mattered, including education, service to one’s country and the cause for peace on Earth. Kennedy spoke to the point with confidence and without stale platitudes.
“John Kennedy’s words were filled with his love of life.”