I recall a fallen prince

I recall a fallen prince,

a handsome lad,

an older brother

who led the land.


A sailor,

as most princes are,

a son of privilege

who tried to

make the world

a better place

for you and I.


With courage like those

he profiled with pen,

he challenged us

to ask not what our country

could for us do,

but what we could do for it.


He challenged us

to reach for the moon,

and tell tyrants

we were Berliners too.


Even in that darkest night,

when it seemed the world might end,

his courage never faltered,

his youthful hand held firm.


We young boys thought

him Clark Kent’s stand-in

until that clear and dreadful

Texas day.


As the years go by,

we remember his streak,

a bolt of light.

A bright and shining moment?

Maybe not.


Where were you on Nov. 22, 1963? I was in the third grade at Rolling Acres school in Peoria, IL. It was a rainy day, so bad that we had to stay in for afternoon recess. our teacher, Mrs. Springs (?) was called out of the classroom during the period and we became more than a little rambunctious, causing the principal to come in and sit us all down. We did not hear of  the assassination until school was dismissed, although one of the teachers and one of the janitors reportedly started crying once they heard the tragic news. This is especially jarring for me since I had just started to become interested in history in general and the Presidency in particular.


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