Events of Nov. 22, 1963, remain etched in memories

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HANCOCK COUNTY — They were heady times for America in 1963 – only 18 years after World War II, the G.I. Bill, a hopeful generation unfettered by war, conflict or police action, barreling down Eisenhower’s interstates like so many runaway automobiles with suburbs sprouting like beans in a barren field.

The nation defined itself with youth and vigor, not unlike its president. Vietnam was still a somewhat vague notion nationally, a grenade whose pin had yet to be pulled.

Then there were the shots of Dallas, and at 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 22, something ended.

Since President John F. Kennedy’s assassination at that time and place, the shooting has grafted itself like a tumor on the American conscience.

Whether the tumor is malignant, malevolent or benign continues to be argued, but the fact remains, the events of Nov. 22 exploded like an airliner into a skyscraper into ordinary and daily lives, and one man’s death that day left nothing untouched.

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