Towards the end of September I had the opportunity to visit the John F. Kennedy museum in downtown Dallas. The museum’s official name is “Sixth Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza.” Here I enjoyed viewing first hand scenes from an incident that has intrigued me for years.
I remember first learning about the assassination as a high school student. Our teacher was excellent in that she presented all sides of the account, giving us the freedom to come to our own opinions and conclusions. The museum seemed to have a similar approach.
Over the course of an hour or so I walked through each exhibit, reading and watching and listening to the prompts. Somewhere towards the middle of the dialogue, things got really blurry. Who was Harvey Lee Oswald and why did Jack Ruby shoot him? In fact, what did Jack Ruby, a nightclub owner, have to do with the JFK scene at all?
The museum tour ended with as many questions as it began with. There still are no clear answers and the consensus was the same as that of my high school teacher’s – figure it out yourself.
Many weeks later I was reading “Season of the Witch”, a story of San Francisco during the Summer of Love, (1967) when I came across a quote from Nancy Ling Perry, who was sixteen when she witnessed the JFK shooting.
“When I was in high school, I witnessed the first military coup against we the people of this country. I saw us passively sit by our TVs and unconsciously watch as the militarily armed corporate state took over the existing government and blatantly destroyed the constitution that some of us still believed in. I listened to the people around me deny that a military coup had taken place and claim that such a thing could not happen here… And I heard my teachers and the government-controlled media spread lies about what had happened… I told my teachers and family and friends that I felt that we were all being used as pawns and puppets, and that those who had taken over the government were trying to keep us asleep in a political stupor.”
More recently, I have read a news article about President Trump’s order to release all assassination records to the general public, yet in the same order he suggested agencies withhold information in the rare event that something might be harmful to the nation.
I’m curious as to what exactly, would be considered “harmful to the nation.” It’s been half a century since the incident and we still don’t know the truth.
All of this is terribly agonizing to an American public who only wants the honest truth. I feel so much sympathy for the citizens of 1963 and yet maybe it is actually empathy I feel. Empathy in that our nation seems to have similar stories today; stories with gaps and lack of detail and misunderstanding. Is the American public being lied to for our own protection or for the protection of an elite few?
Reach Haley Hoover at email@example.com.