I pulled into the Dallas area on the 21st. I messaged my friends to let them know I was there. They were headed out for ice cream and invited me to come along. Anyway, the next day was the 22nd and I was completely oblivious as to what day it was. I never went out because it was a cold rainy day. Even if I had gone down there, I would not have got within a 4 block radius of the place. The security was super tight and a ticket was needed and there were even back round checks.We ended up watching several programs about the Kennedy assassination. There was one really cool one about the events leading up to and after it happened. I went the next day.
I started off going to Deep Ellum to go to work, but it started raining again. Since I was only a little over a mile away, I went to Dealy Plaza. For those who don’t know, that is the area President Kennedy was assassinated. Though I did not go to the 6 and 7 floor museum of the Book Depository, where Harvey was, I walked around and saw the rest of everything else. There was a cool gift shop with a cafe there too. There were still quite a few streets blocked off within a 2-3 block radius and a lot of street parking also blocked off. The day before, there were about 5,000 people there. There would have been a lot more, but as I mentioned, the weather was awful.
On the 23rd, there were still plenty of people out there milling around. On my way there I passed the Kennedy Memorial. It is an unusual memorial but very much fitting. People can go in and leave flowers and/or letters(notes) in President Kennedy’s honor. It is hallowed ground and treated with respect as such. A few blocks from there is a fountain and historical markers indicating everything that happened. From where I was, I could see everything, depending on where I turned my head.
I couldn’t believe I was actually there. I had kind of the same feeling I had when I was in Sprinfield at President Lincoln’s home. This is the second place I have been at in 2 weeks where Presidential significance has taken place in U.S. history. Maybe not a huge thing for some people, but interesting to me.
Much like the memorial I mentioned, there is a historical marker indicating the spot where he was hit. People certainly drop flowers and other mementos there as well. Unveiled on the 22nd was a a huge plaque set into the ground of the grassy knoll with an excerpt from the speech the President was going to make later, in that fateful afternoon. I have included that below-
We in this country, in this generation, are- by destiny rather than choice- the watchmen on the wall of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint,and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of “peace on earth, and good will toward men.” That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago: “except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain”
John F. Kennedy
I played later on that evening and also at night at the Pelican Plaza. It was cold but I still had a decent time there. There was a Christmas tree put up made out of car parts from the 50’s, I thought it was pretty awesome! The sound bouncing off of the buildings was excellent- I love that! There wasn’t much in the way of interaction until my second shift. There was a bachelorette party and a couple of the girls got my attention to come play a tune for the bride to be. That is always fun.
As so many people do everyday, without a thought, I drove the same road and through the underpass that carried the President through the parade and to the hospital. It was pretty wild to me.