Fifty years without JFK!
by Elizabeth Menon

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Fifty years without JFK!

“Ask not what your country will do for you – ask what you can do for your country ...”!
Today we remember the most charismatic man, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the youngest president of the United States of America – he was only 43 years when he became the 35th President on 21 January 1961, and the youngest to die as the President of the United States of America, on 22 November 1963. JFK is the one most people aspire to be, even the the Presidential candidates! Many books have been written and many films and documentaries have been released since that fatal day on the Dealey Plaza in Dallas where JFK was shot during a trip to Texas on 22 November 1963 – he was pronounced dead around 1300 hours and even the TV presenter who made that announcement to the Nation was in tears! 50 years on, and the world is still celebrating his life and remembering the 'Camelot' that ended just after 1000days! I will always remember what I was doing when I heard the tragic end of the 'Camelot', the Charisma', like those around the world who would!

JFK was a great scholar and has written books, including 'Profiles in Courage' that won the 'Pulitzer prize'. He also wrote 'The Burden And The Glory, To Turn The Tide, The Strategy Of Peace and Why England Slept' People around the world are still talking about the man whose name is synonym to charisma and enigma, and debating how he was assassinated – thousands of pages of documents are still off-limit for researchers and I guess the true facts would be known once these are released! His oratory was inimitable and his inauguratory speech and the speech in Berlin are still looked on as the best, as people still take inspiration from them even after all these years! He famously said this in his Berlin speech, “Ich Bin Ein Berlin”, meaning “I am one with the people of Berlin”!

The young charismatic John F Kennedy sworn in as the 35th President of the United States of America with this powerful inaugural speech that is still considered the most memorable, analysed and quoted all over the world ever since: “My Fellow Citizens: We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom – symbolizing an end as well as a beginning... …; And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country will do for you – ask what you can do for your country: My fellow citizens of the world: Ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man... …”!

50 years on, the world is still celebrating his life and remembering the 'Camelot' that ended just after 1000days in the Whitehouse! At the Memorial service at Runnymede, Surrey in the UK, Tatiana Schlosberg, Carolyn's daughter spoke of JFK, her Grandfather, on his 50th Anniversary. The 'Eternal Flame' still burns in the Arlington Cemetery where his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy joined him on 19 May 1994. May their souls rest in peace while we mourn the 'Camelot'! I will always treasure the moments I spent in Arlington Cemetery watching that 'Eternal Flame'!

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© E Menon



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