It is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, a most beloved president. I for one remember that most sad day on Friday, Nov. 22, 1963.
I was in the eighth grade attending Grace Lutheran elementary school in Queens Village. It was during our lunch hour a fellow student had a radio where it was announced that JFK was shot and later died. I remember some of the girls in my class who had tears in their eyes and cried. Us boys did not know what to say but felt very sad.
The principal later came to our classroom and announced the sad news and suspended class early for the day. It was a time of great aspirations and high ideas and hopes for the nation. President Kennedy spoke of passing the torch to a new generation of Americans.
He also called for volunteerism when he said, “Don’t ask what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.”
I have never forgotten those words. I myself have served in the Boy Scouts, the church, and served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam era.
In later years I joined the Knights of Columbus and served as grand knight for a number of years at St. Anastasia council No. 5911 in Douglaston. I am also a fourth degree knight as was JFK.
Kennedy was one man with a dream and a hope for the nation whose life was cut too short. In a sense, I believe JFK wanted us to be all we can be and to try to serve others in need.
Now on Friday Nov. 22, we should all take a moment of silence in memory of John F. Kennedy, a man that was not perfect but loved America and its people and truly lived the American dream as we all should.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village