The Loss of Camelot

November 19, 2013 at 8:17 am Leave a comment

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Friday will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. As President, JFK brought to the United States a sense of hope we had never experienced before. Think about it. Up and until he took office the U.S. for generations had been in a battle to survive. From the depths of the depression in the 30’s, World War in the 40’s and recovery under President General Dwight D. Eisenhower, we the people had been tested in heat of adversity and pain.

We had proven ourselves the stronger for it. Coming together during WWII and assembling the finest war machine ever assembled. One, that not only beat Hitler, but also the Italian fascists and Japan. We did it with sure determination, sacrifice and grit. Kennedy symbolized the coming golden age of America. Camelot.

JFK appealed to all people. His youth, charm and good looks assured us that the ideal still existed and could be attained. He became our dream. Tall and rich he had a perfect wife and children. He was what the rest of us wanted to be. So we collectively dreamed through him much like a parent who sacrifices for their children lives through them.

Then the unthinkable happened. Within a few seconds our dream was taken from us causing a nation to mourn. That happened 50 years ago and we are still suffering from the effects. That one single event took the fairly tale kingdom of Camelot from a deserving people and smashed it in the dirt of reality. What happened next is still with us today.

We became cynics. We became fearful. After all if one lone gunman can take down the leader of the free world, who, if any of us was safe. We began locking our doors and our hearts. We became suspicious or everyone and the Cold War didn’t help. We were told to rat out our neighbor’s if they seemed “odd.” We were told that the enemy was among us and to constantly be on guard and to not trust anyone. We experienced once again war, terrorist acts, hijackings, and more assassinations of our leaders. It was and still is a dark time for us. In one well place rifle shot, Lee Harvey Oswald did what the axis powers of WWII couldn’t do. He broke our spirit as a nation.

Yet there still is hope. There is always hope. It lays with us the individual. We can turn the nation around by not being cynics any more. We can turn the corner by not participating in the division that is going on in this country today. We can change our attitude and how we treat one another. We have the control; we just need to take it. Much like our parents and grandparents before us we can face the enemy and conquer it. That enemy is cynicism.

John F. Kennedy had a lot of hope for this nation. He gave his life for his ideals. He had the vision of Camelot, of a nation at peace with not only the world but with itself. We too can have that vision and share it with one another once again. We can do whatever it takes to achieve that vision in our lifetime. We can do it from the bottom up. But we first have to look within ourselves and change who we are. From negative and fearful to positive and hopeful. Let your light shine and see what happens.

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”    JFK inaugural speech 1961

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