November 22

It’s easy to think, after all these years, that November 22 has lost its significance. It’s true that it’s hard to recall or communicate the sense of tragedy that suffused that day, that weekend, and the years that followed with their new assassinations and anniversaries. Incidentally, I was watching a few minutes of a show the other night that had nothing, nothing at all to do with the first Kennedy killing. It was “The Dog Whisperer,” of all things, an episode in Dallas. In establishing the setting, there were a few quick overview shots of the city. One clip in the montage looked familiar–“Was that the book depository?” I replayed the sequence on TiVo, and the scene appeared again. Just a couple of seconds. A sort of reverse angle view of the familiar ways you see the scene: from the sniper’s vantage in the depository building, from the slope where Zapruder stood taking his home movie. This shot was from across the way, looking toward the book depository from high above. But looking at the scene as a still image, all the pieces were there; it was definitely the place we all knew. We may think we’ve forgotten. But that piece of ground is familiar on an instinctive level.

2 Replies to “November 22”

  1. The prinicpal at the Catholic school I was in came over the PA system to make the announcement and was crying so hard, she could hardly get the words out.

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