Unable to Escape a Fateful Day, Dallas Gathers to Mourn It

John Angle, an SMU student, was interviewed by The New York Times, for its coverage of the Dallas observance of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.


DALLAS — This Texas city, long scarred by the guilt and shame of being the place President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, stood in silent tribute on Friday.

The moment came at 12:30 p.m. Dallas time, the precise time 50 years ago that shots rang out from a sixth-floor corner window of the Texas School Book Depository.

As a light rain fell, thousands of people gathered at Dealey Plaza to mark the minute on Nov. 22, 1963, that Kennedy’s motorcade came through the plaza on his way to a lunch at the Dallas Trade Mart. The ceremony, featuring the historian David McCullough reading excerpts from Kennedy’s speeches, was marked by extraordinarily tight security.

It is a day that has forever haunted Dallas, and Friday’s ceremony was as much about moving on as it was about remembering. Never before has Dallas marked the assassination with such a large, costly event.

John Angle, 23, a senior at Southern Methodist University, who was at the plaza Friday, said the city — though a far different place now — was still seeking redemption.

“I think this is Dallas’s day to try to redeem itself to the world,” Mr. Angle said. “I think the weather is kind of fitting. It’s kind of gray, kind of somber. As someone who studies history, it’s kind of weird to be where history happened, right in the middle of it. It’s almost a little macabre. But I think it’s important that we see where it happened, so we can remember what happened.”

Read the full story.

Read about other students and faculty interviewed for the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy.

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