In November it will be 50 years since one of the most horrendous events of the 20th Century happened in our country: the murder of visionary President John F. Kennedy by persons unknown.
The Clarín newspaper of Buenos Aires last week had a link to a video of 22 November 1963 put together from a large variety of videos taken that day by TV coverage and by a few individuals who had home movie cameras. Difficult as may be to imagine one half of a century later, there were only film cameras available at the time for consumers and only a minority of people had them. The result of editing together of the videos is a full narration of that day from the moment Kennedy arrived at Love Field to the announcement at Parkland Hospital that the President was dead. It is an effort to show everything, leaving nothing available out, in a chronological video narrative, most of it commented by the TV anchors covering the visit.
When the fateful moment of the shooting arrives, shown in two different films, one of them the famous Zapruder film, it is clear from both that the President was shot first in the chest from the front and then in the forehead where there is a small entry wound and a spurt of blood, confirmed by the clot of brain going out onto the trunk of the car from the exit wound in the back of the head.
Most of you know from my previous posts that I grew up in Argentina, the son of missionaries who served there for 40 years. We were on a required periodic furlough in 1963, living in neighboring Fort Worth. I was as shocked as anyone else and the sorrow of the country is seared into my memory. That is why I remember clearly a TV interview with Parkland Hospital doctors, who said that the exit wound was in the back of the head. That clip was shown once to my knowledge on the day of the assassination or the next, and it has since disappeared from existence, never to be seen again.
In the videos I reference, immediately after the shooting, the various cameramen scan the bridge above the glassy knoll over and over. People are all looking in that direction. After that, when the Dallas police arrive, they ignore the bridge and are seen looking up into the Book Depository Building, in spite of the fact that all indications were that the shots came directly from in front of the ill-fated President.
I have no idea who killed John F. Kennedy nor what the motivations were. All I know for sure is that the Warren Commission apparently issued their report to calm and reassure the country (a laudable motivation) but not to get at the truth. The only clear truth is that he was shot from the bridge above the grassy knoll. Let us honor his memory, catch a whiff of his enthusiasm and vision, and carry on his legacy.
Some readers may wonder why I am writing about these topics. As I have promised, my posts are never political. I do not believe that politics or politicians can save us. I do write about issues that transcend politics and invite people of both parties and all inclinations to cooperate. This is the spirit that informs my Angela trilogy. You can find the first of the series at www.amazon.com/author/bedforddavid . The second will come out in the fall and I am writing the third and last book at present.