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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: 11.20.13
JACKSON HOLE, WYO – A day like no other
This coming Friday, Nov. 22, marks the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. As a youth I had the fortunate or misfortune of living through such historical horror. I was quite young at the time but of the age to realize the magnitude of such an act. I can vividly recall our teacher being unusually missing from the classroom for sometime. Then upon his return, informing us with tearful solemnity about the events that had just occurred and thus sending us all home. I can remember my friends and I leaving school on that cold, damp and appropriately gray gloomy afternoon and discussing what had just unfolded in our lives. Living in the Cold War era of that time, we all ignorantly agreed that it had to be the Russians whom were responsible for such an atrocity. What did we know?
Like this coming November, that memorable day was on a Friday and for the entire weekend my family and I were glued to our black and white TV for updates. Updates we surely got when two days later the man arrested for the alleged assassination was himself murdered live on television before millions of eyes. Crazy times, we thought.
That craziness did not stop there. Five years later civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, was gunned down on a Memphis motel balcony and only two weeks later J.F K.’s brother Bobby, while campaigning for the presidency, suffered the same fate in a Los Angeles hotel. As a growing youth, I was somehow becoming quite calloused to such events where nothing would shock me anymore.
For those whom have lived through similar experiences, there are certain days when events out of our control occur and are marked in our memory with asterisks. The depiction of where we were, what we were doing and how we initially reacted stays with us forever. As for me it was days like John Lennon’s murder and Sept. 11, 2001. Yet it is that particular day of Nov. 22, 1963, that still seems to adhere to my memory as a day like no other.
– Patrik Troiani, Jacksonian