Remembering Kennedy

It’s hard to believe that it’s 40 years since John Kennedy was assassinated. That is if you were around at that time as I was. They say that we all remember what we were doing when the dreadful deed was done. All I can remember was that I had been to the cinema, in Slough, with my wife to be, Christine.

I can’t remember what the film was but I can remember I was devasted along with most of the rest of the civilized world. It’s hard to put a finger on the reason why an American president should affect us the way he did.

Why should we care, us young things? Perhaps a clue was the Cuban Missile Crisis amongst other things. As a young person I grew up with the fear of a nuclear world war. It was a sort of blight on my life and the lives of any other young people who had a brain cell or two.

Kennedy faced up to the Russians and cut them down to size. Up until then we believed they had huge nuclear weapons and may use them. They were the evil force that would take over the world, even if they destroyed most of it in the process. We were wrong, of course, but we were not to know that.

Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) would mean that the world was a safer place than it is now. We didn’t have a clue but we worried like hell.

It wasn’t just that about Kennedy – arguably the only US President with that amount of charisma – but the rousing speeches and such like were in stark contrast to our own boring politicians.

Yes, those 40 years have flown like the banana.

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