So here I am, in the front room of my house watching TV. It’s 7.30pm on Friday 22nd November 2013. Fifty years ago to the minute and the day, I was also sitting in a front room watching TV, but that was in my parents’ house. My mother was crying, my father was sitting dumbstruck as the news came from the small black and white screen. John F Kennedy was dead.
When the news of the shooting first emerged just after 6pm that Friday evening, TV programmes were immediately postponed and for the next hour we had a simple message on the screen, accompanied by dirge music, interspersed occasionally by an update from the voice of a newsreader that was only preparing the audience for the inevitable. Maybe that’s one of the reasons we all remember what we were doing, because we had an hour to contemplate what it could mean for the world. For not only was this man a symbol of hope, he was also the first politician in my lifetime who wasn’t old enough to be my grandfather. Continue Reading