Friday, November 22, 2013

The Torch is Passed

The Torch is Passed

My teacher, Mrs. Briles, came in crying,
          And we all cried, too.
We had no clue what had happened
          And were confused about what we should do.

Mom came early to get us that day,
          Her eyes red and filled with tears.
Not a word was spoken
          As the miles home fueled our fears.

The car pulled into the driveway
          And came to a sudden halt.
Mommy jumped out and ran through the front door.
          Did I do something?
          Was this my fault?

Kimmy and I tiptoed into the hall
          And heard a sad, gruff voice on the t.v. slowly say,
“Our president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy
          was assassinated at 12:30p.m. today.”

The television showed a line of cars
          Driving in a big parade.
It focused in on an open-topped car
            From which the President and Mrs. Kennedy smiled and waved.

Seconds later, shots rang out, screams were heard,
          And the cars with motorcycle escorts took off.
Mrs. Kennedy climbed over the back of the car
          As our president’s head dropped.

The next day Mommy took us to Faye Faye’s house,
          Because our school was closed to mourn.
Over and over we watched the movies play.
          The United States of America’s hearts were torn.

Why would a man take our president
          Who worked for equality?
What made him hate a man so much
          Who strove to make the world free?

Our family and most Americans
          Watched the President’s funeral on t.v.
Everything was black with a dirge and drums
          Playing a solemn beat.

The casket was draped with the American flag
          And transported in a wagon pulled by a horse.
As it rolled past Mrs. Kennedy and the children,
          Jon Jon saluted his daddy, of course.

President Kennedy was buried in Arlington Cemetery
          On a cold November day.
An eternal flame was lit on top of his grave,
          And I heard my Granddaddy say,
          “The torch is passed.”

***John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States of America was assassinated on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas.  The news media filmed the procession of cars the President was riding in and captured the assassination on film.  The t.v. stations replayed the events for days on  end.  Children in the United States were  bombarded by the scenes of their President’s death and his funeral procession.  It was a very solemn time in our country’s history.  Young and old alike who lived through these dark times, can recall where they were or what they were doing when they heard the horrible news or saw it on television.

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