November 22, 1963 Remembered

November 23, 2009

Believe it or not it has been 46 years since the tragic events of the weekend of November 22 – 25, 1963.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was elected November 8, 1960 as the youngest president at 43 years of age. (Teddy Roosevelt was youngest to take office, but he assumed office after McKinley’s assassination.) John Kennedy took office January 20, 1961 with a promise of his New Frontier. Together with his beautiful wife Jackie and young children they charmed the nation and the world.

In preparation for the election of 1964 Kennedy wanted to win the electoral votes of the populous state of  Texas. He decided to make a trip to Texas in late November 1963.

On the morning of Friday November 23, 1963 he and his wife took breakfast in Fort Worth and flew to Dallas afterwards. Their arrival at Love Field was greeted by a large crowd.

A motorcade then left from the airport with a planned arrival at the Trade Mart around 1:00pm local time. Kennedy, his wife, and Governor John Connally of Texas and his wife rode in an open Lincoln limousine through the downtown. On their way they passed the Texas School Book Depository.  As they turned the corner from Houston to Elm Street shots rang out. Kennedy was struck in the back with an exit out the neck. This would have been a nonfatal shot. Seconds later he was hit by a bullet in the head effectively killing him.  The time was 12:30 pm Central Standard Time. He was taken to Parkland Hospital where he was pronounced dead at around 1:00 pm local time.

Lyndon Baines Johnson, the Vice President effectively became the 36th president upon Kennedy’s death. He took the oath of office in Air Force One just before departing for Washington, D.C.

Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested several hours later in a Dallas movie theatre. He was charged with Kennedy’s murder.

Oswald was being moved from the jail to more secure quarters on Sunday November 24th. While being escorted through the basement of police headquarters, Jack Ruby a local nightclub owner with mob ties, stepped forward and shot Oswald at point-blank range. Oswald died later at Parkland Hospital. The truth died with him.

Monday November 25th the funeral of President Kennedy took place in Washington, D.C. Millions watched the event on television in disbelief that this young president could have been taken from us so suddenly.

He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

To this day there remain many unanswered questions and mysteries surrounding his assassination.

Remembrance of WW I Vets

November 11, 2009
Remembrance Day2009

Tomb of the Unknown (U.K.)

The photo above shows tributes placed on the British Tomb of the Unknown. This is located in Westminster Abby in London. Their unknown soldier is from World War I (aka The Great War).

The last three British World War I vets died this year, so there are none remaining from that country.

Canada’s last known surviving WW I vet is still alive. He lives in Spokane, Washington, U.S.A. The Canadian government has offered him a State funeral if he and his family so choose. He is over one hundred years old at the present time.

We must always remember.

Remembrance Day 2009

November 9, 2009

ca-cem-normandyThe Canadian Cemetery near the villages of Beny-sur-Mer and Reviers, next to where the 3rd Canadian Division landed at D-Day. Over 2000 Canadian, British and French soldiers are buried here, they paid with their lives in the fight for liberty.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Laurenc Binyon

KEN_JAP My Uncle Ken Davis at age 20 shortly before he was killed in a flying accident during training for the war. He was only 20 years old and the youngest of five brothers.

In the photo he is with his mother Janet (my grandmother). Photo was taken late 1943 or early 1944.

Ken was 6’5″ tall and an outstanding athlete during his years in high school. He always wanted to fly. At age 19 he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and was granted his wish of being assigned to pilot training.

One of the many who didn’t have the privilege of growing old.

Passchendaele, Nov.7, 1917 – WW I

November 6, 2009

Passchendaele terrain

Today, November 7, is the 82nd anniversary of the end of the Battle of Passchendaele.

The Canadian Corps under British command at this time won the battle for the Allies on this date in 1917. The cost of this battle which lasted from June 1917 until November 1917 was high. American forces did not take part in this battle.

The Allied forces captured a mere 5 miles of new territory at a cost of 140,000 combat deaths.  Passchendaele consisted of a series of back and forth skirmishes over reclaimed marshland. It was fought in thick mud.

Hundreds of thousands of soldiers on both sides were killed or crippled. Private Harry Patch of Great Britain, the last surviving veteran of the battle, died July 25, 2009. He was 109 years old.


Passchendaele dead

Actor/Director/Producer Paul Gross of Canada made a movie “Passchendaele” set around the battle. I would highly recommend it to those interested in seeing what war is really like. The movie is not a documentary, rather a love story set during the time. The battle scenes are historically accurate.

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