He Was a Friend of Mine, as performed by the Byrds in our Vid of the Day clip, is a traditional folk song… composer(s) unknown. The lyrics, adapted to the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, express heartfelt lamentations so universal… that so echo my own sentiments… I’m almost tempted to edit in some quotation marks on my blog’s headline.
Ever since this very day in 1963, when JFK had been slaughtered in Dealey Plaza (Dallas TX)… when that utterly pointless bloodshed had virtually spilled forth from my TV screen onto the living room carpet… I’ve considered that focal point in history akin to a chasm deep, societal and ideological dividing line… one that had starkly accentuated the death of decency and the onset of depravity.
My sorrow can only intensify whenever the 22nd falls on a Friday (as it did then and does now). As I type this, I can vividly recall and relive that impossible to forget, lost weekend, where time stood still. Back then, when my years were still measured in single digits, I had been forced to trade in my shiny, carefree, boyhood innocence for a way too soon, shabby, adult cynicism. By the time I had returned to my 4th grade, elementary school classroom, the following Tuesday morning, I knew America would never be the same, again.
Such a contention can easily be substantiated from running down the post JFK presidential roster, alone. With a scant two exceptions… namely James Earl Carter and Barack Obama… the American electorate, typically, has settled for personalities ranging from mediocrity to that above-mentioned (present-day) depravity.
Why oh why do so few heads of state find it so difficult to fully embrace the following heady philosophy…
“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but
the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us ac-
cept our own responsibility for the future.” – – President John F. Kennedy