Memories from the 60’s

Today is the 52nd anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination.  At the time, I was fifteen-years-old and was living at Ft. Shafter army base in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Months before he was murdered, President Kennedy had visited Hawaii and I had gone to the parade.  I have treasured this picture ever since then.

President Kennedy

Prior to moving to Hawaii, I had lived at White Sands Missile Range army base in New Mexico.  As the result of President Kennedy’s fitness challenge, the high school students from the base walked the 27 miles to Las Cruces.

I was too young to participate in that walk but I was definitely inspired by it and hoped to do something like it in the future.  I was also excited when President Kennedy started the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America).  I was so proud to be an American.

His death in 1963, followed in 1968 by the deaths of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, was quite a blow to my idealism.   As crushing as those memories are, I feel blessed to have been alive during that time.  And all three of them will always serve as role models for me.


Note:  This is not a photograph I took myself.  I have no memory of how I obtained it since it wouldn’t have been available at the time of the parade.  I suspect that I purchased it, or it was given to me, soon after the experience.

16 thoughts on “Memories from the 60’s

  1. Good Day to You Karuna,

    Not only do you entice us with your wonderful photos, but your words are thoughtful and important.

    President Kennedy accomplished so much in his sort time as president.

    He was such a force for good.

    My parents were always talking about how strong and supportive of the American People he was.

    I was only 9 years old when this chain of events started to happen. Our hearts absolutely broke when Bobby died by assassination as well. We couldn’t believe both brothers were taken from us the same way.

    How terrible to have three great men, all defenders of human rights, following our dreams (the moon missions) and encouraging us to strive to do better, should be so violently taken from us.

    I wonder how much better the world could have been without their loss.

    In the case of Dr. King, i wonder… Would the progress made after his death have happened, had his blood not been spilled? We hear the words “the price of freedom”. I wonder if Dr. King’s death was part of a price that had to be paid as well.

    After all this time, I have never found a way to reason out the “whys” or understood how such things could happen.

    I’m a non violent person. My unique way of “avoiding the draft”, after high school graduation, was to become a Navy Corpsman. As a corpsman (medic), I couldn’t be forced to carry a gun.

    As fate would have it, I never went to Vietnam. Most of my active duty was spent at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Bethesda, MD. I’m grateful my resolve to “never carry a gun” was never tested.

    I wish we could all live to see a world without violence. I pray that it will happen before the violence goes too far, and destroys us all.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

    My Best to You

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your experiences with me and with those who read this post. I’m so glad you were able to keep your resolve to never carry again. I also wish we could end the violence.


  2. Thanks for this Karuna. I remember exactly where I was when I got the news of his assassination. I lived in Balitmore then and I was about 18.

    Arathi (L 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s for sure. And even the few that might make a significant difference are likely to have their hands tied by those who disagree with the programs and policies they want to put in place.


    1. No, I didn’t take the photo. I have no memory of how I got it. It must have been a souvenir that was available for purchase at some point. I would describe it as a possession that brings up the memories of that era for me. I feel the same way about my hippie headband! Those two items are among the very few things from my childhood and young adulthood that I have chosen to keep.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m speechless…rare for me…first and foremost at discovering even more that you and I have in common. Such a treat after knowing you for more than 30 years.

    That day changed my life’s direction. I was in San Diego when it happened but not long after this event, in Natchez (MS.) And then in Birmingham, as a VISTA.

    These three deaths, as well as the 17 names I later had to look up on The Wall in DC really sealed my permanent stance in life.

    You’ve inspired me to write about Dr. King now.

    Thank you Karuna.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so looking forward to reading all the posts you write. I know we have a lot in common, but there is so much I don’t know. I feel blessed that our paths have come together again after all these years…..


  4. Those 3 deaths had a profound effect not only on your idealism but on the optimism of the entire country. I wonder, if we could see the reverberations, what long-term effects they had (living and dying). We can definitely see the negative reverberations from 9/11 on this plane of existence, but wonder what Amma sees?

    Liked by 1 person

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