Sunday, November 22, 2009

November 22, 2009

      The New York Times reminds us that on this day, forty-six years ago, John F. Kennedy was murdered in Dallas, Texas.       If you are old enough, you of course remember where you were.  I was working in London that year.  Big Ben tolled, pealing, I think, once a minute, a ritual normally used only when the sovereign has died.  Cab drivers, hearing my American accent, wouldn't take my money.      I had interviewed Kennedy a few times while he was still in the Senate.  He seemed almost shy back then, soft-spoken.  By the time he died, of course, he was a rock star.  The world, or at least the non-Soviet part of it, went into mourning.  It was a measure of the affection in which he, and America, were held.      It didn't last, of course.  His successor, Lyndon Johnson, led the country into a bitter and divisive war in Vietnam, and America's bright image in the world began to fade.      It hasn't glowed that brightly since.  But the new president, Barack Obama, offers, I think, just a hope that it might.  Is he there yet?  Certainly not.  Might he get there?  It's a possibility.
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