Friday, November 15, 2013

Where I was When Kennedy was Shot

Though I was five years old at the time, I was very aware of the 1960 presidential election campaign from T.V. and listening to the conversations of my elders. I was very aware of the importance of John F. Kennedy to Catholics and especially Irish Catholics. On November 22, 1963, I sitting in my third grade  classroom at Sacred Heart Grammar School in Suffern, N.Y.

Our teacher received a message from the principal over the intercom. I had never seen the intercom used before. She said something as if to herself. I may have heard the word shot. She looked at us as if she didn't know what to do. She decided to consult with the teacher across the hall.  When the door opened, we could see that other teachers were consulting with each other. When she returned, a student who sat closer to the door and able to hear what was going on in the hall asked her, "Was President Kennedy shot?"

She said to the class, "No, President Kennedy has not been shot." She said that we were to wait for instructions from the principal. Soon, a signal was given, and the class was formed into a double line and marched to the church next door. The other classes in the school were doing the same.

While on line outside the church, a student near me turned to another and said, "President Kennedy was shot."  Then I knew.

More Succinctly:
I was sitting in my third grade classroom. The principle, a nun, had sent a message over the intercom, to all the teachers, all nuns also, and told them to wait for instructions from her. The teachers did not know what to do and consulted with each other in the hallway. We overheard the words president and shot being used. Soon, each class was marched, in a double line, to the church. While waiting on line outside the church doors, a boy on line next to me asked the boy in front of him why we were going to church, and he replied, "President Kennedy was shot."

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