The emotions came upon me quite suddenly and totally out of the blue. I had been reading an article about the assassination of President Kennedy, and this prompted me to watch some of the TV coverage of that tragic moment in our history.
Kennedy’s death was one of the most traumatizing events of the 1960s, a decade that I have often taught about when explaining to ministry students how we, as a nation, arrived at where we are today.
For these students, most of whom grew up in the cell phone, instant news era, it’s hard for them to imagine what things were like back in the 60s, just as it’s hard for people in my generation to imagine what things were like back in the 1800s.
That’s why I take time to underscore to these students how unnerving it was to see some of these events unfold on TV, in front of our eyes, for the very first time. This included the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, who had been arrested for Kennedy’s assassination.
All that to say that I was quite familiar with the TV footage of those events, along with the coverage of the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy just 5 years later. And that’s why I say the emotions came upon me quite suddenly and totally out of the blue.
But the moment I saw the coverage about JFK, including some graphic photos and the quoting of Jackie Kennedy’s words (“Oh no!”), I began to sob uncontrollably.
Why do we do such wicked things?
Why do we shoot and kill each other in cold blood?