November 22, 2013

My dad and JFK

I don't recall my parents, Carl STANCIL and Gladys ALLEN, being particularly interested in politics except they were completely enamored with John F. Kennedy. 

In the summer of 1961, we were transferred to the naval base at Newport, Rhode Island. I often heard my mother say we'd been transferred there for daddy to train for the Presidential color guard, though I can find no reference to that in his military records. Still, it was indicative of how proud she was of my father and how much respect she held for JFK.

A year later, still at Newport Naval Base, daddy reenlisted for another 4 years of service. He was rewarded with a year long tour of duty to Okinawa and mom and I shipped home to wait for him. Fast forward a few years and the family is reunited and stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC.

November 22, 1963. Although I was not quite 5 years old at the time, I clearly recall the evening news the day of the assignation. I remember my father standing in the middle of our living room watching the evening news in shock. Then, he sat down and cried. 

It was only occasion I ever witnessed my father in tears. My father, a tough Marine who had lived through the hell of war, cried when his President died. 

How many of us would cry today if our President died? Probably not many. Not because our current President is a controversial figure, but because we are indifferent. Whether its due to history or the media, we have a thicker skin about such things. We no longer live in the hopeful atmosphere of Kennedy's Camelot. A world where a young Catholic Irish-American could be revered, respected, and  even spite of being President of the United States.

Rest in peace, JFK. The world is a better place because of you. 

1 comment:

  1. I too cried when JFK was killed and I continue to cry each time I hear or see refernce to him. I would cry today if our president was shot no matter who it was because he or she is the president and no matter who it is that person deserves our respect. Chris P