I was doing some research in the College of Eastern Utah Library on Friday and the exhibit at the front of the library was pointed out to me by one of the staff members.
The display has to do with John F. Kennedy's life and his presidency. There were books, videos and other materials on the table, but one thing really caught my eye. It was a book Aimee Lauritsen, the public services director at the library put together and it is called "Share your thoughts. Where were you the day JFK was shot?" The book is designed so those that look at the display can write down where they were, what they saw and how they felt the day the president was killed.
While about half of the population alive today either was too young to remember or not born yet, for those of us that remember it was a traumatic day. I started to think about it over the weekend, and every year since 1963, sometime during the day of Nov. 22, I think back about the moment I heard that terrible news. It is the only day of the year I do that, except for the anniversary of 9-11 which hardly counts since it is only two years old.
I don't do it with the Challenger Disaster anniversary, nor on the anniversary of man landing for the first time on the moon. I don't even do it with days that are personally important. It is the only day I mark year after year by remembering where I was at such a young age..
I remember when I was 11 years old and I was walking out of the cafeteria of Grant Elementary School in Murray. My best friend, Gary Dunn, was in another class and in line for lunch and he said, "Rick, the presidents been shot."
I went right down to Mrs. Lindsey's room, a fourth grade teacher I had had a couple of years before because I knew she had the only television in the building.
There we watched as Walter Cronkite announced the president's death.
I saw Mrs. Lindsey cry and observed tears come out of the eyes of Mr. Snarr, our principal.
It's a day I'll never forget.