Friday, June 06, 2014

RFK, JFK and EMK remembered

Today is the 46th anniversary of RFK's murder death. I was eleven. I was devastated. RFK was my hero.

RFK would have been elected President, and RFK would have promoted healing. He would have ended the Vietnam War. In high school I wrote a paper that established those facts -- the last paper of the year in Mr. William L. Santry's History Seminar class at Clearview Regional High School. I still like having the last word.

I was 6.5 years old when JFK was murdered. Only 22 days earlier I trick-or-treated on Halloween in semi-rural Mantua, New Jersey with a JFK mask and costume. I was heartbroken when JFK was killed, I still remember hearing cheers coming from the third and fourth grade wing of the J. Mason Tomlin Elementary School (something that also happened in Dallas). I grew up in a working class town in Southern New Jersey, one where my liberalism, and my parent's liberalism, was not unusual.

My dad, a former paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Divn., with three combat jumps in World War II, was an expert marksman, Dad carefully read and dissected the Warren Commission report. He didn't believe it. He asked the eight top master sergeants in the 82nd Airborne -- all expert marksmen -- if they could have made the shot that Oswald allegedly made. Every single one said, "no." Dad was as expert a debunker of the Warren Commission coverup as ever called a talk radio program. He was relentless, reading dozens of books on the JFK assassination.

It was forty years ago this August -- I was 17.5 years old -- when I went to work for Senator Ted Kennedy, the day after I heard Ralph Nader speak about public service, and the day before my first class at Georgetown. EMK was one of the best Senators ever to serve our country. And RFK would have been a great President, and I spent all day missing him. We need more politicians like them, and JFK, and Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt.

What do you reckon?

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