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Barbara Clyne, Paramus Librarian, remembers November 22nd, 1963
It seems as if I were still young and the tragedy in November of 1963 happened only yesterday. It was fifty years ago and yet the grief so evident on the faces of all Americans that day still evokes feelings of sadness for an America that was lost with the death of its young President.
It was a clear, crisp Friday afternoon in November. It was 1963 and I was a college senior preparing to attend a class at 3:00 p.m. My mother was home from work washing the floor in preparation of the upcoming holidays. I was about to leave the house for the trip to Brooklyn where my college was located when the telephone rang. It was my aunt telling us the President had been shot in Dallas. It was between 1:15 and 1:30. My mother immediately stopped what she was doing and went to the living room to turn on the television. Walter Cronkite and other newscasters were reporting on the events in Dallas. Unsure of what I should do, I went to school and by the time I arrived, an announcement came over the speaker that President Kennedy was dead, and all classes were cancelled. I arrived home to my mother and father sitting on the couch their eyes steadfastly fastened to the television screen unable to attend their minds and emotions to absorb the horrifying events of of that November afternoon. Soon after my sister and myself joined my parents. We sat and we listened and we watched as image after image of a slain president filled our small screen and the news anchors, their eyes filling with tears, as they reported the unfolding events in Dallas. Lost in our own thoughts, not only for his young wife and two young children, but for America and its people . Tears and unremitting sorrow etched on the faces of a nation in mourning. A shared grief by those who loved him and those who those were wary . It was nearing towards evening and as the sun and crispness of that beautiful November afternoon faded , the joy of the approaching holidays , a day or ordinary chores and pleasures vanished as the Presidential motorcade travelled slowly through streets of Dallas to the cheering crowds making the left turn towards Dealey Plaza a few minutes before 1 p.m.