Sunday, November 17, 2013
And our nation. Our world. The future of planet earth.
The incident is still the subject of widespread debates, books, films. Has spawned numerous theories and scenarios in fiction, as well as non-fiction.
A moment before the murder, the First Lady of Texas turned to him and said, "Mr. President, you can't say Dallas doesn't love you!"
If you or I wrote that in a novel the editor would probably cut it out. Truth IS stranger than fiction.
Jackie said, moments later, " They have killed my husband! I have his brains in my hand."
I have rarely read a more poignant sentence in any novel…
One of the most amazing facts was that at that time it was not a federal offense to kill the President of the United States!
People often ask, " Where were you… ?"
- December 7, 1941?
- November 22, 1963?
- September 11, 2001?
That day in 1963, a day of lost dreams and dashed hopes, America's sacred honor was stained with Jack's red blood and universal dreams were shattered.
The mystery of who the killer was still haunts us. Was it a lone gunman? The mob? The Soviets? The CIA? The government?
This crime of all crimes to many of us…
The quest for the truth continues. The weeping has not ceased for 50 years…
Where were YOU?
THAT DAY . . . . . .( written November 22, 1963)
You prince and king and everybody's hero,
idol of the poor,
friend of intellect and all we knew to be
in our reborn post-war world.
Could any mature man
THAT day, when ignominy raped our youthful joy?
Why… oh God, why???
The cry of Dallas-town
will echo down the empty alleys of time
as long as there is any wind
to blow limp papers along deserted city streets.
Until the last corn stalk
in western civilization outlines an autumn sky.
Until the last grave is dug
in what we call
Don't tell me, critic-man, there are no
messiahs of politics, no kings in democratic states… or that
grown men are ashamed to cry.
THAT day, their women kissed the dust with
women's tears. But women have no monopoly
on weeping. We know to live is to weep.
THAT day everyone of us knew
a little part of ancient Greece.
Tragedy became large, wide-eyed,
terribly personal. The horrible events
were echoes, tapes and films and heart-rending photos
of a world's pathos and grief
we had always known, since Virgilian plagues,
those high tragedies by Euripedes, all the Greek-greats of ancient times.
Some part of each of us died
THAT day. Our own red blood
spurted out in Dallas. The ballads now
sing "In Dallas-town…"
The elegies will sing
a hundred years from now
and carry out the long tradition
of tragedy's tale. God will
there will be elegies
in a world not quite
A hundred years from now…
Thelma Jacqueline Straw
Dear Friends and Colleagues of Crime Writers' Chronicle,
Please share with us where you were… THAT DAY…