This anniversary may pass without the national acknowledgement that came with the fiftieth anniversary last year, but it never goes unnoticed in my own life. The Kennedy family prefers that the President be remembered on his birthday in May. Though it is an understandable preference, it's impossible for people to disassociate John F. Kennedy with what happened on this day fifty-one years ago in Dealey Plaza. I've written here many times about the way in which I became interested in Kennedy. This is the first year that I can share the card that was shown to me when I was a kid by my grandmother who remembers precisely where she was when she learned of Kennedy's death and was so upset by the assassination she reached out to another young mother, Jackie Kennedy, and offered her condolences.
I will forever cherish this card on anniversaries like this one and every day that I think of my grandmother and the influence she has had on my life. She was the same age I am now, twenty-nine, with four young children, when she sent her condolences to the First Lady of the United States. I would like to think that I am my grandmother's granddaughter, shaped by her in many ways, and would have done the same had I learned on one November day in 1963 that the leader of the free world had been cut down in Dallas.