John F Kennedy shot 48 years ago today - a defining moment for a kid in Ireland - VIDEO
Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 01:11 PM
- Mario Cuomo and Mike Dowling dazzle at Irish America lunch
- Recalling Irish America’s greatest moment: President Clinton’s first visit to Belfast
- Inquiries into pre-Good Friday Agreement Northern Ireland crimes must end
- “Philomena” a must-see movie that breaks your heart (VIDEO)
- What JFK’s America was really like in November 1963 - Time capsule of New York Daily News paper of the day
|John F Kennedy and his wife Jackie O|
It was November 22nd 1963, 48 years ago today.
A world away John F.Kennedy had already made that fatal turn past Dealey Plaza in Dallas to his appointment with death.
A few moments later the TV screen went blank and a long silence followed.
After about five minutes the scene switched to RTE's newsroom.
More stories about John F Kennedy on IrishCentral
Fairies destroyed Ireland’s richest man say neighbors
Chef Gilligan's Thanksgiving apple and sausage stuffing recipe
A newsreader, Charles Mitchell, the Walter Cronkite of his day, came on. He was usually so unruffled and calm and yet ,on this occasion he looked agitated and ill at ease.
He read a brief statement from United Press International that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas.
The screen went blank again
I fetched ny father and mother and soon my brothers and sisters joined us.
We sat looking at the screen, by now showing footage from President Kennedy's recent visit to Ireland, a week of incredible pride for my nation.
Then we switched to BBC and a teary eyed newsreader announced that Kennedy was dead.
To say we were stunned was an understatement.
How could that vibrant brilliant young shining star be quenched so suddenly?
In the long days that followed we felt our innocence had died along with John F.Kennedy.
His brief period in power seemed more like an Irish Aisling, the dream poems where lovers conjured up visions of those they lost and loved.
Even to this day he holds a place in our memories, he has influenced every leader since, he has become the political icon of our time.
Years later I visited Dealey Plaza and the book repository where he had been shot from. It seemed so banal, so small, so anonymous for what monstrous deed had been committed there.
But to a ten year old all those years ago, he represented the first intimation of mortality.
As Shakespeare wrote;
"In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire."
Here's some of the live feed of the news from November 22nd 1963:
- Gay wedding cakes latest target of anti-gay...
- The New York Times questions Ireland’s highly-p
- Racist incidents in Ireland up by 85 percent...
- Offensive NFL sign outside restaurant just...
- An open letter in strong defence of capitalism.
- Bah! Humbug! The ten worst things about Christm
- No Irish prosecution for man named as world’s...
- Spanish judge slams Ryanair’s sexist air...
- Irish radio presenter suspended after anti-Isra
- Nelson Mandela was against IRA decommissioning.