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Anniversary of JFK death brings sadness, solemnity

November 22, 2013 • National News


The U.S. Naval Academy Men’s Glee Club sings the The Navy Hymn to close out the ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, in Dallas. President Kennedy’s motorcade was passing through Dealey Plaza when shots rang out on Nov. 22, 1963. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Tom Fox) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET USE BY AP MEMBERS ONLY; NO SALES

DALLAS (AP) — It was the same time, 12:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 22. It was the same place, downtown Dallas.

But 50 years later, the thousands of people who filled Dealey Plaza weren’t there to cheer but to remember in quiet sadness the young, handsome president with whom Dallas will always be “linked in tragedy.”

The solemn ceremony presided over by Mayor Mike Rawlings was the first time the city had organized an official Kennedy anniversary event, issuing 5,000 free tickets and erecting a stage with video screens.

Somber remembrances extended from Dallas to the shores of Cape Cod, with moments of silence, speeches by historians and, above all, simple reverence for a time and a leader long gone.

“We watched the nightmarish reality in our front yard,” Rawlings told the crowd, which assembled just steps from the Texas School Book Depository building where Lee Harvey Oswald fired from the sixth floor at Kennedy’s open-top limousine. “Our president had been taken from us, taken from his family, taken from the world.”

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