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Kennedy: Don’t Let It Be Forgot

Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment, that was known as Camelot.

The Kennedys at Love Field | November 22, 1963

The Kennedys at Love Field | November 22, 1963

This week we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK. Gen-Xers don’t remember the day Kennedy was shot. He was inaugurated on January 20, 1961, the year Generation X begins. Nevertheless, we’ve seen the images of JFK and Jackie on parade through the Dallas West End our entire lives. There has never been a time when we weren’t running through the shadows of grief that belong to the generations that came before us.

Like ghost children, Gen Xers were born too late to remember JFK, RFK, and MLK and so many other things that defined the world we grew up in.  From Vietnam and the Civil Rights Act to Roe v. Wade, we’ve been fixtures in another generation’s narrative. And, worse, we’ve become minor characters in our own story. We’ve rocketed to middle age and like Prince Charles, still waiting in the wings.

JFK Jackie in Car Dallas

During his 1961 inaugural address, Kennedy said,

“Let  the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace…”

On Friday, we will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK. And, although my Generation X has no memory of it, the Zapruder film has looped through our minds for years.

And, how could we forget? Even if we weren’t even there to remember.

 

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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3 Comments

  1. Carlisticeday

    JFK and — alas — his death are far more relevant to the world we live in than anyone in the mainstream media is willing to acknowledge. The lies and half-truths (such as the Marilyn Monroe story) that have been propagated around him are emblematic of a much larger system of pseudo-history manufacturing. This system has produced a ream of false narratives that effectively undermine the lessons of that era and what came after, rendering it quaint and essentially “irrelevant”. If you don’t accept the pseudo-history, it becomes possible to label you as a nut.

    Perhaps the most important and damaging false narrative about JFK is the pernicious idea that someone named Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, shot him. Dozens of scholars poring over literally millions of documents relating to this case have firmly established that this simply was not so. Yet the idea continues to influence how most Americans think about JFK and, indeed, our government. Many notable people — even some who should know better — continue to treat this as an open question. It is not, IF you pay attention to the facts.

    This false narrative is devastating to our nation, for it speaks to the reality of our government “of, by and for the people.” To believe it and perpetuate it is to ignore the crucial ways that this expression simply is not true. To accept this narrative uncritically is to acquiesce to the manufacturing of history without reality, of a public memory devoid of substance whose only purpose is to unite us under an illusion. How very convenient this is for those who would do as they will without regard to justice or the will of the people.

  2. chloeGXP

    “How could we forget, even though we weren’t there to remember” is the perfect way to describe the way the Kennedy’s left an imprint on our consciousness as Gen Xers. It’s pretty incredible that he was being inaugurated right as the VERY first Gen Xers were being born in early January of 1961. That distinct color of Jackie’s pink will always be somewhere in my psyche even though she wore those clothes more than a decade before I was born. I feel tired, too, but I believe our second wind is coming. While I am frustrated with all the same things you are, I see some kind of change in our society bubbling under the surface – of people being more conscious, more focused on human rights, less small-minded, less prejudiced, etc. and I believe our generation will play a big part in the leadership of how all that manifests itself. Let it be known that we, Generation X, the ghost children, have been disciplined by a hard and bitter existence. And that may be exactly what the world now needs from its leaders as a much-needed colossal shift happens in our culture and society.

    • chloeGXP

      Sending love back at ya, and have a happy Thanksgiving!

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