This anniversary’s nothing to celebrate

Published 9:19 am Friday, November 22, 2013

Almost immediately after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated 50 years ago on this date, Nov. 22, people spoke and wrote of how America had lost its innocence.

Perhaps so.

That someone would dare to kill the country’s charismatic leader was a soul-shattering experience for countless citizens around the world. Kennedy and his family inspired that kind of devotion. They radiated a positive quality rarely seen since then. You can decide which presidents since are the exceptions.

And almost as quickly after the bullets flew came the ideas of who actually assassinated Kennedy. The idea that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman didn’t sit well with certain kinds of people. Conspiracy theorists, as they’ve come to be known, presented all kinds of reasons and supposed evidence to say there was more than one person behind it all.

Does it really matter who’s to blame? The deed was done, nonetheless.

But there’s still some justice in the world. After all this time, everyone connected to the crime – or even supposed conspiracies – has already died themselves.

What is important now is to consider how Americans regard their own leaders, especially presidents. You might not like who’s in office now or tomorrow, but that’s not a reason to plot murder. Elections are more effective.

To advocate assassination or condone it with silence isn’t just un-American, it’s barbaric.

If you can’t respect the man, you can at least salute the office.