Because I’ve been getting The Japan Times since they added it to the New York Times International edition, I was able to read Mark Schreiber’s Nov. 17 piece, “The day JFK died.” It was a great summary, extremely nostalgic, if that is a good word (painful is closer). I was 12 (in 6th grade) when that happened, and it certainly had its impact.
Later, in high school, I studied the Warren Report and its implications, and wrote a paper about the loose ends, etc. It was no Oliver Stone piece (George Will certainly pummeled him), but it was intriguing and led to no real conclusion other than that Oswald likely acted alone.
Anyone around that age was profoundly impacted by those events, and the tense and sad days that followed.
I’d never thought about some of the points the article raised — such as the slowing of the limo instead of speeding up, which appears to have given Oswald a more stable target for his final shot. Schreiber is to be congratulated for his efforts in reviewing this, and visiting Dallas. That must be eerie. The city seems frozen in time as per that tragedy. I suppose commemorating it outright is the only way to try and live it down to a small degree.
I also read an article on Nov. 16, I think in the N.Y. Times international edition, about the bloodstained pink dress that Jackie Kennedy was wearing that day, and how it is shut up somewhere in archives in perfect condition, air-conditioned and not to be viewed by the public or anyone else really until 2103 at her wishes. That was quite a moving article too. It said they wanted her to change clothes, but she refused and said something like “Let them see what they’ve done.”
It’s strange to think that JFK’s daughter is now ambassador to Japan, arriving at such a milestone time.
9/11 was big and shocking, but it seems more clear cut and cannot compare with the JFK killing for mystery and national malaise.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.