FROM THE EDITOR | DAN FLANNERY
Fifty years ago this weekend, the Flannery family was connected to a Zenith black-and-white TV.
I was just 6 years old, but I knew enough to understand that we were asked to comprehend a lot of bad news.
We watched a nation change. We saw a president buried. We grieved with his family. We experienced the unsettling pageantry of a presidential funeral. We saw the eternal flame at the president's gravesite and thought about what it meant. We wondered if it would really be burning if we had the chance to visit.
We saw someone kill the man who allegedly shot the president.
For the next few weeks, the images of President Kennedy, his family and his legacy were unavoidable. In first grade at Mole Lake Elementary School, we read the December issue of Weekly Reader, focused from front to back on the late president. If you can be somber as a first-grader, we were. But we were also willing learners. We knew about PT-109, about Hyannisport, about his family, his inaugural speech, his press conferences, his presidential cabinet.
Fifty years later, there's been a lot of talk about "the weekend that changed America." That's appropriate and correct.
But it's also the weekend that proved America's system works. That didn't change. It was affirmation.