Saturday, May 1, 2010

JFK, The Ties That Bind And Diversity

By David D Real


The sun shone bright as I hurriedly rode my bicycle into the bike rack and jumped off of it. For the month of November it was an exceptional Friday. I was returning from lunch at home and would have only a few minutes to play football before the bell would ring and we would all return to our classrooms at Eugene Field Elementary School. I was a 5th grader and even though we were in the middle of semester exams there was an excitement in the air! Our beloved High School Football team would face the Marlow Outlaws in the first round of the state playoffs right here in Hobart at 8pm. It just didn't get any better.

The dreaded bell rang and we all raced to the school entry and proceeded to our classes. My 5th grade teacher was Larry McNutt. He was the first man teacher I had ever had and I adored him. For the first time in my life I had a teacher who thought that I was one of those special kids. We all took our seats and immediately Mr. Mc Nutt began the exam. He called out the words and as I had been taught attempted to sound each out before transcribing. Suddenly there was a disturbance in the hall and the principal (Harvey Engle) appeared at the classroom door. He summoned Mr. McNutt over and they had a brief discussion. Mr. McNutt's face turned suddenly pale as the principal disappeared into the hall way. Mr. McNutt looked at his class and said, "folks I have some bad news, the President has just been shot." It was 12:50 pm CST.

The semester spelling test was over. Mr. McNutt went to the cloak closet and pulled out an old green radio. He shook as he plugged it in and began turning the dials. There was a deafness in the room I will never forget.
Soon, Mr. McNutt had a radio station and we were listening to the different accounts of what had transpired just a few minutes earlier. The reports where chaotic and seemed to contradict each other.

I remember one report saying that it may have only been fireworks going off that caused the presidential limousine to speed off. Another report indicated that the limousine was en route to a local Dallas Hospital and that someone had been shot. As each new report came in, the situation seemed to worsen. The next report indicated that the President had been shot and may have been mortally wounded. The next report indicated that a priest had been requested by Mrs. Kennedy.

The momentum was now building that something very bad had happened and that in all probability the president was seriously injured. Another report was that others had also been shot including the Vice President, the Governor of Texas and a Dallas police officer. Then, at 1:40 p.m. the gauntlet fell. The radio reporter stated that CBS News was reporting that the President was dead. Then, Associated Press: "The Flash, apparently official, President John F. Kennedy is dead". The silence in the room was deafening. Tears streamed from Mr. McNutt's eyes.

In only a few minutes, the Principal came over the speaker system and made the announcement to the entire school. He also dismissed school for the rest of the day. I raced home and found Mother in front of the television. Neither of us spoke as it was not necessary. She had been watching her favorite soap opera "As the World Turns" on CBS when Walter Cronkite interrupted her show. Everyone was now glued to their television sets, anticipating the next traumatic report to come out of Dallas or Washington D.C.

That night most schools around the nation canceled all extracurricular activities. It was decided in Hobart to go ahead and play the first round of the state playoffs. I went to the game but like everyone else was in a state of consciousness that is difficult to describe. During the National Anthem you could hear women weeping. The flag was flown at half mass. The pre-game prayer was long and beseeched God to grant us peace and wisdom to understand and to bless our nation. When the game ended we had lost 22-8. I went home and Mom and Dad were already in bed. Dad asked me who won and I told him. He told me not to take it too hard. I remember telling him that I really didn't care and I asked if I could sleep in their room. Mother got up and made me a bed. November 22, 1963 would soon be history.


Let me be clear. We were a poor family that lived on the wrong side of the railroad tracks in a town that those tracks were very important. The tracks represented a line of demarcation that determined social class and structure. My parents were hard working and believed that you got from life what you earned. Neither had more than a 5th grade education. They did not believe in welfare or in any kind of government assistance.

"Therefore, my dad was a hard core Republican. On election night in November of 1960, I was a 7 year old kid that feel asleep in front of the television watching and hoping that Richard Nixon would defeat John F. Kennedy. I remember feelings of deep sorrow the next morning when learning of Nixon's narrow defeat.
The loss that we all felt that Friday (1963) was more important than the death of a man. It was the great sense of loss that we felt for the Republic.

It took me many years to understand why my sense of grief was so great for a man that I did not care for. I believe that I have come to terms with and better understand that grief today. The health of a Republic is ultimately dependent upon common values. As a nation we have always found those common values during times of crisis: Faith, Family and Nation have always been the ties that have bound us together. And on the faithful day in November 1963 those were the common threads that once again bound the Republic, just as on December 7, 1941, September 11, 2001 and any other national crisis you can recall.


We are constantly reminded by the "elite media" and the socialists that "diversity" is what makes us strong as a nation. As with most virtues in life the things that have proven to be a strength can ultimately become a great weakness. Diversity and therefore disagreement can be healthy and can be the catharsis for new ideas. But when diversity is allowed to proliferate ideas contrary to our basic and cultural values and be redefined in a manner that is in stark contrast to the values that made us and kept us a great republic, we had better examine this diversity closely.

We must make sure that the price we are paying, the ultimate loss of the Republic, is what we bargained for. Diversity is now defined by no borders, no prayer, no mention of God, no Constitution and a redistribution of our national wealth. Diversity also means that if you oppose this new definition that you are either a radical or a racist or you are probably both. If we do not stand strongly for our values NOW, I fear that the day is rapidly approaching when a great national loss will NOT result in the shared grief, outrage and sense of personal loss that has bound us together for generations.

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