(2013-11-22) — On the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, President Obama recalled for reporters the moment he learned JFK had been slain.
“Like JFK, my grandfather served in the military,” Mr. Obama said after a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. “And, of course, John Kennedy and I both served in the U.S. Senate and overcame America’s deep-seated bigotry to win the presidency. Young and vigorous, we both garner praise for our speeches, and the way we drew the youth of the nation into the political process.”
Pressed again by journalists to specify what he thought and felt at the actual moment when he heard Kennedy had been shot, Obama choked back his emotion and recalled, “I was sitting in my 10th-grade American history class when the teacher made the announcement. Everyone just fell silent. It was 1977, and we couldn’t believe JFK was gone, Camelot was ended. I think they sent us home early that day. We were pretty shaken up.”
The White House called for all Americans to commemorate Obama’s historic remembrance of the tragedy by “finding some way to serve in your community, like organizing a voter-registration drive with your local SEIU chapter.”