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Reflections from the past

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

Over the last few weeks when channel surfing on the television, nearly every network has been featuring documentaries on the upcoming 50th anniversary of the assignation of President John F. Kennedy. For a generation that lived through that tragic eventful period and the turmoil that seemed to follow, all it takes is one simple black and white picture and you are not only compelled to watch but somehow are left to relive those events and the feelings, once again.

The painful event still brings tears to the eye and the deep down sadness of why he was taken from us. Everyone has a snapshot of where they were when the President was shot. So many Americans felt a deep connection to this very likable man and his family. Please indulge me, as I share my story.

As a young 9-year-old boy, I was living in Dallas, Texas at the time. A third grade classmate who was to attend the landing of Air Force One at Love Field, had prepared the class all week for her thrill of lifetime, an opportunity to get a glimpse of the President of the United States and the first lady. Our class was able to touch that event through her participation. As such we were all connected and anxiously awaiting her report back to the class.

In that era, especially as young children, we were in complete awe of our President, a World War II naval hero on PT 109. He was the man who set us on the course to put a man on the moon. He saved our nation and perhaps the world from nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was the man who challenged us to discovered what we could do for the nation, rather than what the nation could do for us. He made it clear that the tasks ahead would not be easy, but it was up to us to step forward and do our part. He inspired us.

Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at dan@newmarketpressvt.com or dan@denpubs.com.

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