Friday, November 22, 2013

On the Anniversary of JFK's Assassination

 "It has been half a century and so many lifetimes ago, yet the images from November 1963 remain haunting, blurred into our national consciousness." - Bob Schieffer of CBS News
On this day in 1963, President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed. It is a day that brought Americans together in sorrow, and yet divided them in the years to come. The nation collectively mourned the loss of its charismatic and powerful leader, yet questioned reports about how the events of that day unfolded.

Half a century later, official reports detailing the events of that day are still questioned by conspiracy theorists and concerned citizens who believe there is more to the story than what they've been told. Whether they doubt the reason behind the shooting or whether accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, many Americans find themselves still unconvinced by what the Warren Commission and the Assassination Records Review Board have stated.

The events of this day have been affirmed and questioned alike throughout American media. Oliver Stone's polarizing film JFK affirmed conspiracy theorists, found itself largely maligned by critics, and yet it received Academy Awards. A recently-released thriller called Parkland--centered on the events at Parkland Memorial Hospital--validates official reports about Oswald. These fictionalized accounts of the assassination remain a stark reminder that our nation is still intrigued, confused, and divided by that day in Texas. These films also remind us that--despite having actual footage of the assassination itself--we still know little about how and why these events occurred. We are left to piece together eyewitness reports, like those of the doctors at Parkland, with the official reports of the Warren Commission, trying desperately to bring some semblance of understanding to this event. Yet however much information we collect this day remains, in many ways, entirely unknowable.

John F. Kennedy
May 29, 1917 - November 22, 1963

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