For many Americans of a certain age, today is a very emotional one. Almost no one alive on this date in 1963 could not tell you where they were when they heard the news that John F. Kennedy, president of the United States, had been shot.
I wasn’t yet born, but the anniversaries have always evoked the same sadness from me as it has many who were.
My mother was having one of her many coffee klatches with two of her best friends and neighbors who also lived on our street of little bungalows. She was pregnant with me, nearly 8 months along, when they saw the breaking news on the black and white television.
She told the story of how they watched in horror and disbelief, tears streaming down their faces.
Like many of us who felt the same shock on 9-11, they did not know what was happening to our country, whether the country was at war or what the future would hold for them or their children, or for the baby my mom was about to have.
The news was so devastating that it gave my mother premature contractions, something the doctors were able to stop until nearly a month later.
Perhaps my mother’s grief on that day passed to me genetically and became a permanent part of my DNA, but I’ve never been able to study, read or watch anything about this event without getting emotional.
However, that is not the only thing I took from that tragic day that I cannot even remember.