On an autumn day when I was eight years old, I remember my Dad holding me high above his shoulders to get a glimpse of history and a remembrance of a lifetime. October 14, 1962, President John F. Kennedy visited the City of Buffalo, and our family was there to greet him. A reception of 100,000 folks gathered around Lafayette Square near the Buffalo City Hall. Cheers of approval and waves of excitement were among the crowd as the motorcade passed; he was very popular—a President loved by the people.
I remember being on the right-hand side of city hall as he passed by.
His leadership was remarkable. Watching the video below, keep in mind that this is just before the period of what would come to be known as the Cuban Missile Crisis.
But as life goes with happiness comes sadness. With waving and cheers on a parade route on November 22, 1963, the President lost his life in an assassination.
My memories of that day are also as clear as day at City Hall. As I sat in my third-grade classroom in the early afternoon, our teacher left the room briefly. She returned with tears but didn’t say a word. Within seconds the school principal came over the speaker system and announced that the school would release early due to the shooting of our President.
I’m really cannot say if they told us that he had died or if they left that up to the parents.
As I walked home, it was clear something big was going on. Folks were walking with their heads down in prayer.
Seeing the window shades drawn on the corner store was preparing us for a sorrowful time.
Today, in the center lobby of the Buffalo City Hall sits a tribute to the President who touched our lives.
Thanks to my friend Larry for bringing these memories out of my cluttered mind.
Drop by and see what he’s up to at: eastelmhurstagogo he always has something good going on. 🙂