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Dallas Honors Kennedy Legacy on 50th Anniversary of Assassination

Dallas Honors Kennedy Legacy on 50th Anniversary of Assassinationi
November 23, 2013 2:45 AM
On November 22, 1963 in Dallas, an assassin's bullets killed President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. On the 50th anniversary of his death, the city that is linked to the tragedy hosted a ceremony honoring the president's life and legacy. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more from Dallas and the Sixth Floor Museum, formerly the Texas School Book Depository from where Lee Harvey Oswald fired his deadly shots.
Dallas Honors Kennedy Legacy on 50th Anniversary of Assassination
On November 22, 1963 in Dallas, an assassin's bullets killed President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. On the 50th anniversary of his death, the city that is linked to the tragedy hosted a ceremony honoring the president's life and legacy. The Sixth Floor Museum, formerly the Texas School Book Depository, is where Lee Harvey Oswald fired his deadly shots.

Though she was a young girl, November 22nd, 1963 has always been a dark moment for Carol Chazdon. “For years after the assassination, whenever I would see the numbers 22 even together and see the words Dallas, it all jumped out at me in red in some way and invoked a lot of scary images, and for a long time I thought I would never come here.”

That kind of reaction prompted city leaders, in the past, to avoid the anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination, says Sixth Floor  Museum Associate Curator Stephen Fagin.

“I call it this journey from assassination to commemoration because it's about the city stepping away from this fear and anger and frustration, and embracing this as a defining moment in American history, which affected not only Dallas but the nation and the world,” said Fagin.

Also See: VOA Special Report  John F. Kennedy, a Legacy Remembered

The mayor of Dallas, Mike Rawlings, completed that journey in a speech to the thousands gathered in cold and wet Dealey Plaza to mark the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s death.

“While the past is never in the past, this was a lifetime ago. Now, today, we the people of Dallas, honor the life, leadership and legacy of the man,” said Rawlings.

Planners were careful to craft the ceremony as a tribute to the president, which appealed to Dallas resident Miguel Andrews. “I came here to commemorate the good things JFK did for society.”

Andrews was a young boy living in Mexico City when President Kennedy came to visit in 1962. He showed photos of his father standing next to the president. Andrews said that experience, and Kennedy’s call to land a man on the moon, were inspiring.

“To amass the will of the people to do something for a common cause, which they labeled it as the Space Race, but what we got from that was immeasurable,” said Andrews.

“I think his legacy is that much stronger because it was cut so short, and he was never ever able to see what he set in motion,” said Chazdon.

Despite Chazdon’s lifelong dread of Dallas, she said the commemoration has done much to change her feelings. “I think it's been very thoughtfully planned. I think it was very just and appropriate and I didn’t want to go anywhere else, I wanted to be here, I really wanted to be a part of this.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, would you join me in a moment of silence to honor the memory of John Fitzgerald Kennedy,” said Rawlings.

Long after the bells stop ringing in Dallas, people will continue to visit the place where Kennedy died, a place that was the site of chaos and confusion 50 years ago, now a place for reflection and remembrance of a young president’s life cut short.  

Photo Gallery

  • President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline Kennedy are greeted by an enthusiastic crowd upon their arrival at Dallas Love Field, Texas, Nov. 22, 1963.
  • The presidential limousine carrying President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy is followed by secret servicemen on running boards, Dallas, Texas, Nov. 22, 1963.
  • Seen through the limousine's windshield as it proceeds along Elm Street past the Texas School Book Depository, President John F. Kennedy appears to raise his hand toward his head within seconds of being fatally shot in Dallas, Nov 22, 1963.
  • President John F. Kennedy's limousine speeds along Elm Street toward the Stemmons Freeway overpass moments after he was shot at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, Nov. 22, 1963.
  • Two unidentified women burst into tears outside Parkland Hospital on hearing that President John F. Kennedy died from the bullet fired by an assassin while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Nov. 22, 1963.
  • Lee Harvey Oswald sits in police custody shortly after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, Nov. 22, 1963.
  • Members of the White House staff file past the body of John F. Kennedy, lying in repose in a closed, flag-draped coffin in the historic East Room of the Executive Mansion in Washington, Nov. 23, 1963.
  • Mourners, waiting to view the flag-draped casket of the late President John F. Kennedy in the Capitol rotunda, line the sidewalk as night falls, Nov. 24, 1963.
  • A tearful woman is comforted by a companion as the horse-drawn caisson bearing the body of President John F. Kennedy passes on way to the Capitol, Washington, Nov. 24, 1963.
  • Jacqueline Kennedy, her children Caroline and John Jr., and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy arrive at the Capitol in Washington, Nov. 24, 1963.
  • Lee Harvey Oswald, accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, is placed on a stretcher after being shot in the stomach in Dallas, Texas, Nov. 24, 1963.
  • Representatives of all branches of the military act as pall bearers during the funeral of President John F. Kennedy as they leave following funeral services at St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington, Nov. 25, 1963.
  • Three-year-old John F. Kennedy Jr. salutes his father's casket in Washington on Nov. 25, 1963.
  • Former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy walks toward the grave of slain President John F. Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, Nov. 28, 1963.

Interactive Timeline
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Kane Farabaugh

Kane Farabaugh is the Midwest Correspondent for Voice of America, where since 2008 he has established Voice of America's presence in the heartland of America.

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Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: Dr. Dray from: D.C.
November 22, 2013 6:37 PM
America is not the USA anymore, it is the FSA, THE FASCIST STATES OF AMERICA. Prepare to be arrested for free speech. TRUTH IS TREASON IN THE FASCIST EMPIRE OF LIES.

by: roz from: usa
November 22, 2013 6:30 PM
With such a high approval and his death being later in his term rather then earlier you know the big boys are responsible. I truly wish a president of ours will reach as high and far for this country like JFK did. He knew the risks that he was taking with every decision and he still didn't back down nor slow his speed. He acted on his heart not by greed. He showed courage and trust not fear or wielding greasy hidden strings in the politics. The people behind his murder know who they are, they walk freely and wealthy but I will say this. Never fully free. The public will know one day what you did. And I doubt the government can keep the some 1,100 files for this case locked away forever. As time goes by old people start feeling guilty and remorseful, some mouths will not be forced closed while some have already began to sing.

by: George Vreeland Hill from: Beverly Hills, CA
November 22, 2013 4:30 PM
What a shame it happened.
John F. Kennedy was a man of inspired vision.
He looked at things and asked why not.
When Kennedy was assassinated, a part of America died and it took fifty years of lost innocence for people to realize that dreams do not die from bullets, but because leaders stopped asking for a better tomorrow.

George Vreeland Hill
In Response

by: ABL from: USA
November 22, 2013 6:05 PM
George Shaw wrote the look and ask why not quite you used, not Kennedy.
Believe me, the younger generations hold their noses at all the JFK worship just as they do with all the Ronald Reagan worship (for the president that sent the US average standard of living into a downward tail spin).
They see the murder of JFK as an early television era media event that caused blind admiration for the president that escalated the Vietnam war and send huge amounts of Americans and Vietnamese to their deaths.
The baby boomers have no idea how they sound to younger generations when they exclaim that "I saw it all on TV myself, I remember!", as if that somehow elevated it to biblical proportions.

by: Mrs. Crafa from: USA
November 22, 2013 3:34 PM
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings is another propaganda mouthpiece for the New World Order that will have people arrested for exercising their first amendment right, anyone who speaks against the ludicrous paradigm of the establishment will be arrested. Know for a FACT, though, the CIA killed JFK. And facts are facts. Time to wake up from your sleep, America.

by: Mhmd Menem from: Egypt
November 22, 2013 2:57 PM
The question is still confusing who killed kinnedy??????
In Response

by: Mary Kay from: D.C.
November 22, 2013 6:29 PM
Well, DUH!!! Read the comments, NOT the PROPAGANDA fed to you from the establishment. WAKE UP!!

by: Judy Woodruff from: D.C.
November 22, 2013 12:51 PM
Be deceived no more, America, three letters will explain who killed John F. Kennedy. Just three letters. You ready?? The CIA!!! Come out of your stupor, America.

by: Blown Cover from: D.C.
November 22, 2013 12:21 PM
The "deathbed confession" audio tape in which former CIA agent and Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt admits he was approached to be part of a CIA assassination team to kill JFK was aired already - an astounding development that has gone completely ignored by the establishment media.

Saint John Hunt, son of E. Howard Hunt, appeared on the nationally syndicated Coast to Coast AM radio show to discuss the revelations contained in the tape. Hunt said that his father had mailed cassette the tape to him alone in January 2004 and asked that it be released after his death. The tape was originally 20 minutes long but was edited down to four and a half minutes for the Coast to Coast broadcast.

E. Howard Hunt names numerous individuals with both direct and indirect CIA connections as having played a role in the assassination of Kennedy, while describing himself as a "bench warmer" in the plot. Saint John Hunt agreed that the use of this term indicates that Hunt was willing to play a larger role in the murder conspiracy had he been required. Hunt alleges on the tape that then Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was involved in the planning of the assassination and in the cover-up, stating that LBJ, "Had an almost maniacal urge to become president, he regarded JFK as an obstacle to achieving that."

Asked if his father followed the conspiracy theories into the Kennedy assassination, Saint John said the elder Hunt did follow the work of AJ Weberman, a New York freelance writer, who in the early 70's first accused Hunt of being one of three bums who were arrested in Dealy Plaza. The so-called bums were interrogated and later released by authorities shortly after the assassination. Weberman, one of the founders of the Youth International Party, the Vippies, published photographs of the tramps and found that two of them bore striking similarities to Hunt and Frank Sturgis , also named by Hunt in the tape as having been played a role in the assassination conspiracy.

Asked for his opinion as to whether his father was indeed one of the Dealy Plaza tramps, Saint John, in a stunning revelation, said one of the tramps indeed looked much like his father did in 1963. Saint John Hunt said that shortly before his death, his father had felt "deeply conflicted and deeply remorseful" that he didn't blow the whistle on the plot at the time and prevent the assassination, but that everyone in the government hated Kennedy and wanted him gone in one way or another. Kennedy's promise to "shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter the remnants to the wind" was being carried out and this infuriated almost everyone at the agency.

by: Iwork@WhiteHOUSE from: District of CRIMINALS
November 22, 2013 12:15 PM
Almost everything we know about the assassination of John F. Kennedy has been planted in our minds over years of mainstream media programming. Virtually every theory advanced has been either conjured up or promoted by those who control the matrix. Therefore, just like all the false leads which were published during November of 1963, much of this ‘official’ information is highly suspect.

However, as far as the much more expansive JFK assassination coverup is concerned, many of those accused parties had either a direct or indirect hand. No matter what the degree of participation, a conspiracy of silence is always the most deafening. And always the most successful over the long term. The most obvious hallmark of the ‘execution’ of the assassination plot is that it was a classic CIA implementation plan. Whoever it was necessary to directly involve in the conspiracy to murder JFK was inserted into this extremely compartmentalized operation, and done so on a strictly need-to-know basis. This same modus operandi applies to the coverup as well.

Therefore, it can be stated with absolute certainty, that certain elements within the CIA, Secret Service, FBI and Dallas Police Department had to have had a direct hand in both the assassination plot and following coverup. Over the course of time, there were other law enforcement agencies which were drawn into the coverup phase by necessity. All law enforcement agencies are run according to military-style pyramidal hierarchies, so it was very easy for them to control the flow of information over the many intervening decades.

by: Rudy Haugeneder from: Canada
November 22, 2013 12:01 PM
Two things about JFK: he would have lost the next election and gone down in history as just another guy who failed to meet expectations; assassin's bullet or not, he would not be alive today.

by: Mrs. Betty Harge from: St. Louis
November 22, 2013 11:45 AM
The dying dinosaur presstitute media wants you to lick up their propaganda vomit that JFK was killed by a "lone gunman". But anyone who does independent research knows that the blood ends up and started on the hands of the CIA, who had him killed. Do your own research and do NOT be fed the LIES of mainstream media. JFK WAS KILLED BY THE CIA.
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