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Date: 11/22/2013 9:28 AM EST

 

My parents both shared with me their experience on this day 50 years ago and both were marked by shock, fear and most of all sadness. As a kid, I always wondered who were the men in the black and white photos in the house and why they were there in the first place. It's funny to think about it now - as I have similar and larger ones in my office - and a bookcase filled with authors' accounts, opinions and theories on the life and death of this man and his brothers - one of whom I had the pleasure to meet. As I grew older, I asked questions and learned about this 43 year old Irish American who embodied what my parents, and ultimately I, believed in. To their surprise and delight he became President of our country. There was a happiness and familiarity as he was Catholic and Irish. Most telling of all though was the look of pride upon my parents faces when I asked about him in general but more so when I asked about this day. It's difficult to describe - but for two people who rarely talked about their own feelings, the raw sadness on their faces was so pure, innocent and sincere it made me realize that this person was special and that he must have made a profound impact on them and countless others. So - I think about him today and I think of my folks and I think about our country and how we are indeed better because of his time here and also because of his legacy.

JFK RFK

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