Killing hope - crying out ‘what if’
Frustrated, he ran his hand through his hair, he’d been sitting by the window for over 15 minutes, reaching down to the window’s ledge he picked up his cigarette pack and withdrew his sixth cigarette and lit it. He inhaled deeply and slowly blew the smoke up over his head — sweating heavily he whipped his face with his hanky and dropped it to the floor. He checked his watch frequently and pulled the barrel of his riffle along his thigh closer to his right hip.
Starring out the window he leaned forward and then dropped to his knees, sure that what his demented mind hated was fast approaching. Picking up the rifle he brought the riffle’s butt firmly into his right shoulder and the scope to his right eye, aimed and fired three consecutive shots - two of the three hitting his target. It was 12:30 p.m. - the first bullet struck his target in the neck, the second hit the seat alone, the third shot tore through the back of his targets head and exploded through his brain.
He rose up, dropped his riffle and quickly left his “hiding place,” rushing down the stairs and exited the building. His heart beating rapidly, his mind racing - torn by thoughts of escape and deep satisfaction that he had “evened the score,” stopped the “injustice”, and just perhaps turned the tide for Communism in Cuba. His name was Lee Harvey Oswald; he alone had just assassinated John F. Kennedy - the young and brilliant President of the United States. In Oswald’s twisted and tormented mind – JFK was indeed the “enemy” of Communism.
It was Nov. 22, 1963, the city was Dallas and the event will live forever in the devastating arms of “what if?”
Crowds of excited people lined the streets and waved to the Kennedys. The car turned off Main Street at Dealey Plaza around 12:30 p.m. As it was passing the Texas School Book Depository, Oswald’s gunfire suddenly reverberated in the plaza. The car sped off to Parkland Memorial Hospital just a few minutes away. But little could be done for the President. A Catholic priest was summoned to administer the last rites, and at 1 p.m. John F. Kennedy was pronounced dead.
The events of tragedy and deep-loss always push one, and in a case such as the assassination of JFK an entire nation - into the empty and sorrow-filled arms of “what if”. There have been endless theories of conspiracy, government intent, Cuban and “mob” plots, and multiply shooters involved with the assassination. Each the result of searching for answers in the deep and anguished shadow of “what if”.
Reality is - there is no doubt this horrendous event was the result of the haunted and tortured soul of Lee Harvey Oswald. The act did leave lasting and unanswered questions as always found in the acts of anger, hate, and demented actions. These acts of life indeed are tragically responsibly for killing hope and crying out “what if”. It’s been 50 years – anger, hate and death still roams the earth, when will it change?
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