The dozen or so times I've watched this seem to bear out the prevailing opinion that the President was shot twice, or at least by two people: once or twice in the chest from a long distance (probably by Lee Harvey Oswald) and once again in the head at close range, probably by the driver of the car, Secret Service Agent William 'Bill' Greer.
This enduring mystery and the concomitant obfuscation it engendered plagues the American psyche still...
Yet it also seems like the truth could potentially reveal itself at any moment; the principal players are all dying off, and surely one of them one day, in some kind of morphine-induced stupor, will confess all they know in order to lighten their soul's load as it prepares to leave its death bed. Not that it matters, except in bringing closure; it won't bring him back, nor will it undo the many grave injustices that were committed in its doing.
When John F. Kennedy was assassinated on this day in 1963 the larger portion of the American Dream died with him; as with the previous killings of Lincoln (and, to a lesser extent, those of Garfield and McKinley) the idea that anyone who assumes the highest office in the land - if they are able to grasp the American imagination, or bring about any substantive progress - can and will be killed for doing so, has almost certainly discouraged many great visionaries from even attempting it, leaving the field wide open for the merely ambitious, grasping, or power-hungry.
For all his faults as President, Kennedy brought into office a sense that hope can prevail; his murder only proved that hope, like happiness, fame, or power, is but fleeting. Anyway, his role over the more than forty years since he was killed as Holy Martyr to the Republic is one which is more enduring than any eight year Presidency could ever hope to be.
Any assassin (or assassins) who wished to snuff out President Kennedy's light on that cold sunny Friday in Dallas only succeeded in making it burn brighter.
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