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Letter: The day went silent
On Nov. 22, 1963, I was typing policies of auto insurance for the Pioneer Casualty Company in San Antonio. Just when our lunch hour was over and we were about to start working, several girls were standing near my desk, talking.
I asked one of the girls, Betty, now living in Lockhart, what was wrong. She turned around. Her face was pale white and she was in shock. “The president got shot,” she said. I was confused by the way she said it as my mind went back President Lincoln. “What?” I said in disbelief. She repeated, “President Kennedy was shot.”
I thought for sure that this can’t be true, as he was in San Antonio the day before. We all wanted to see him while he was there, a few blocks from our office, but our manager said that we had to stay and work. I prayed that the president would be all right, but about 20 minutes later, someone came downstairs and gave us the sad news. President Kennedy had passed away.
It was such a shock, and hard to believe this happened, especially here in Texas. I thought, “Who would do such a thing, killing our President John Fitzgerald Kennedy?” After work, I bought a newspaper. I was reading it while walking toward my apartment, which was eight blocks from the office. My parents drove up and I realized I had forgotten about them coming that afternoon. I didn’t really feel like going out.
Then on Sunday morning, I was in the First Baptist Church, three blocks from my apartment. Right in the middle of the service, the preacher announced that Lee Oswald was shot and killed. All I could think was, “When will this ever end? Will we ever know the truth of why Oswald did it? Was someone else involved in this besides Oswald?”
Our office closed for the president’s funeral. I sat at home, watching the services on television. I was in tears the whole time.
Then, to see little “John-John” (John F. Kennedy Jr.) salute his daddy’s casket as it was carried in the horse-drawn caisson.
That memory will stay with me forever.
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