JFK death news sent ‘wave of grief’ around world

RUNNYMEDE, England — There is a quiet and somber feel to this small piece of America on an English hillside, near where the Magna Carta was sealed eight centuries ago.

Only a trickle of visitors come to the John F. Kennedy Memorial, located on about a half-hectare (an acre) of land given to the people of the United States by Queen Elizabeth II in an unprecedented act of British affection for the fallen president.

Here, near the Thames River meadow where the founding charter of civil liberties was sealed in 1215, the queen came to dedicate the austere monument to a president killed 1½ years previously.

Accompanied by Kennedy’s widow, his two children and two surviving brothers, the queen spoke of “the unprecedented intensity of that wave of grief, mixed with something akin to despair, which swept over our people at the news of President Kennedy’s assassination.”

She spoke for the multitudes. Much of the world learned of Kennedy’s death within minutes, and 50 years later it still feels the loss.

———

Across six continents, in sports grounds, statues, scholarships, streets, hospitals, bridges, parks and schools, the name of John F. Kennedy is preserved in perpetuity, nowhere more keenly than in the hearts and minds of the Irish.

There he is widely recognized as the nation’s most famous son, whose great-grandfather Patrick emigrated to Boston in 1848 from a 14-hectare (35-acre) farm near the River Barrow in Dunganstown, County Wexford.

That farm in Ireland’s southeast corner has become a focal point for tens of thousands of JFK pilgrims annually since June 1963, when Kennedy visited his ancestral homeland. His four-day tour inspired unparalleled excitement in a then-impoverished land that had never before seen an American president.

In the nearby town of New Ross, a bronze podium bearing microphones and the presidential seal marks the riverside spot where Kennedy spoke. A flame taken from his burial plot in Arlington Cemetery burns at the center of a globe-shaped sculpture dedicated to Ireland’s emigrants.

Carmel Delaney, a New Ross native, was 11, singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” with a crowd of Catholic schoolgirls when JFK’s helicopter landed.

“We wouldn’t have seen a helicopter before. That was something fabulous altogether,” she said. “We knew he was somebody extremely important. We knew he was a god.”

The day after Kennedy’s funeral, Ireland observed a national day of mourning. Tens of thousands queued to sign the U.S. Embassy’s condolence book, and businesses closed so employees could attend Masses in JFK’s memory.

Jacqueline Kennedy gave the president’s Irish relatives the rosary he had in his jacket when he died. It is on display at the Kennedy Homestead.

At the homestead, JFK’s closest living relative in Ireland, fourth cousin Patrick Grennan, says the family is planning no special occasion for the 50th anniversary.

“We Kennedys choose to commemorate life, not death,” Grennan, 38, said while showing a visitor around the homestead. “We celebrate the triumph of his visit to Ireland, his inspirational words. We try not to dwell on the horror of what happened later.”

——

“I put on the radio, and just at that moment there was a chilling report informing us that the president had been assassinated in Dallas,” Fidel Castro wrote in a recent newspaper column. The usually voluble former president of Cuba recalled being struck dumb. “For all intents and purposes there was nothing that we could talk about.”

In Cuba, Kennedy was reviled for authorizing the Bay of Pigs invasion and perceived as bellicose during the missile crisis that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.

“Every Cuban felt like that president was attacking us. You couldn’t have the slightest good will for him,” said Manuel Rodriguez, a 74-year-old former bank employee and militia member who was mobilized during the Bay of Pigs attack and the missile crisis.

He remembers that Kennedy’s assassination shocked Cuba and provoked fears that new tensions would roil the island. Once again he was called up for military duty.

His view of Kennedy has softened somewhat over the years; today Rodriguez believes the hostile U.S. policy toward Cuba was set by Kennedy’s predecessor, Dwight Eisenhower, and that Kennedy had to “keep up the pace.”

———

In Bogota, Colombia, Maria Cristina Reyes remembers exactly what she was doing when Kennedy was shot.

He had touched her life.

Reyes was 16 and newly married when JFK pulled up in a black limousine with his wife and Colombia’s president on Dec. 17, 1961. She and her husband were among people building simple one-story red brick houses financed by Kennedy’s “Alliance for Progress” initiative.

One of the homes would be the Reyes family’s, in a district which would be named Barrio Kennedy.

“We felt great joy to see someone who was not from our country come and give something to people who were really in need,” said Reyes.

Neighbor Martha Garay, now 77, remembers Kennedy’s impact: “He was dashing, attractive, impeccable, and so was his wife.”

JFK lingered, visiting a lot of the houses, “and spoke some Spanish though it wasn’t anything that was very understandable,” Garay said, chuckling.

Reyes said she was housecleaning when word of the assassination reached her. “We turned on the radio when they announced the terrible news.”

Today, having lived through Bogota’s violent decades, she sounds fatalistic when she thinks back to Kennedy’s murder.

“When a person like President Kennedy comes around and tries to help, they always cut him down,” she said.

———

The day after the assassination, the performance of Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” ran as scheduled in London’s Old Vic theater. When the play ended, Sir Laurence Olivier stepped forward, raised his hands, and said that instead of applause the actors would rather stand with the audience for two minutes of remembrance. The great actor and director arranged for the silence to be broken by the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Since his death, the legacy of JFK has touched lives the world over. David Miliband, a Briton, is typical. He studied in the U.S. on a scholarship from the Kennedy Memorial Trust, and went on to serve as his country’s foreign secretary.

“Today Kennedy remains a repository of hope not because he was assassinated but because the things he said and did created hope,” Miliband says. “There is a huge sense of promise unfulfilled. His vision was utterly inspiring.”

At Runnymede, carved on a rock, is a sentence from JFK’s 1961 inauguration address that still resonates around the globe: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

———

John Fitzgerald Kennedy Munene is a 32-year-old Kenyan. His mother chose that name when she gave birth to him in the U.S. while on a student exchange program. He has studied the American president more than the average Kenyan, including reading Kennedy’s “Profiles in Courage.”

He has also studied a program made possible by JFK through the family trust when he was a senator that took dozens of African students to the U.S. to further their education. One person in the program was Barack Obama Sr., the current president’s father.

Munene, who works in information technology, likes to play soccer, wearing a jersey with “JFK” emblazoned on it. When they see it “people say, ‘Are you going to be Kenya’s president?’ … It’s quite a fun name.”

———

It was early afternoon on June 26, 1963, when Christian Sack first saw John F. Kennedy. His West Berlin high school had given its students the day off for the U.S. president’s visit to the city, which had become a front line of the Cold War. Twenty-two months earlier the East German communist regime had rammed a wall through Berlin.

Sack was one of an estimated 1 million Berliners who lined the streets that day.

As a teenager, he recalled, he was “more interested in music and girls than politics,” but Kennedy captured his attention when he proclaimed his solidarity with the isolated city, in a speech that ended with the famous line “as a free man, I take pride in the words, ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’” — “I am a Berliner.”

“The atmosphere was explosive — explosive with excitement,” Sack said. “You have to imagine the wall had only stood for two years and the politicians in West Germany just wanted quiet and never said much about it, so it was naturally almost a feeling of liberation that a politician would take it up and put it on the agenda.”

Five months later, Sack was on the Kurfuerstendamm, the city’s liveliest boulevard. “People just stopped and started talking — Kennedy had been killed,” he said. “There was a huge disbelief, and sadness.”

Some 60,000 people, many in tears and carrying torches, gathered at the place where Kennedy gave his famous speech.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Berliners remembered “I am a Berliner.” Many of those who gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in sympathy carried signs that said: “We are all New Yorkers.”

———

Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Shawn Pogatchnik in Wexford, Ireland; David Rising in Berlin; Andrea Rodriguez in Havana; Jason Straziuso in Nairobi, Kenya; and Cesar Garcia and Vivian Sequera in Bogota, Colombia; and researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Henderson police bodycam footage of officer-involved shooting
Henderson police released body-worn camera footage of an officer-involved shooting in a grocery store parking lot at 2667 Windmill Parkway on Aug. 12, 2018. (Henderson Police Department)
Bicyclist suffers major head trauma in hit-and-run
A bicyclist was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after a Thursday morning hit-and-run crash near the school formerly known as Agassi Prep. Police said the bicyclist was hit by a white SUV, which fled the scene. The injured man suffered multiple injuries including major head trauma. As of 9 a.m., Lake Mead remained closed between Martin Luther King and Revere Street while police investigate.
Las Vegas artist Dave Dave dies at 42
Dave Dave talks about his art and his life in 2016. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dave Dave, whose dad set him on fire in 1983, dies
Dave Dave, a respected Las Vegas artist who was badly scarred as a boy when his father tried to burn him to death in Southern California, died at Sunrise Hospital on July 15. He was 42. When he was 6, Dave's father tried to kill him by setting him on fire. He was given a sleeping pill and his bed at a Buena Park, California, motel was doused with kerosene. “I remembered being in a lot of pain,” Dave told the Review-Journal in 2016. “When stuff happens to you at that young of an age, you tend to block it out, but I remember the pain was excruciating.” Dave, who was born David Rothenberg, became close friends with Michael Jackson, who met him after the attack, which burned more than 90 percent of his body. “I wanted to meet him, and he wanted to meet me, and that just turned into a lifelong relationship that never ended,” Dave said. “It was amazing being friends with Michael Jackson. He was an amazing person.” Dave attended ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, and collaborated with various artists around Las Vegas, eventually selling his art to private collectors. Despite his challenges, he continued to live, thrive and create. Dave Dave
Homicide detectives investigate woman's death
Las Vegas police were called to Tahiti Village Resort early Wednesday after calls that someone had been shot. Police found a woman’s body between a parking garage and boiler room on the resort's property. A guest first reported hearing gunfire. There are no witnesses, but police will examine surveillance videos and look for clues. The woman was not identified, but a purse was found near the body. She did not appear to be a guest at the resort.
LVMPD Discusses Ross Dress for Less Shooting
LVMPD Assistant Sheriff Charles Hank discussed the 15th officer-involved shooting of the year at a press conference at Metro headquarters on Tuesday, Aug. 14. The active-shooter incident took place at the Ross Dress for Less store at the 4000 block Blue Diamond Road in the south Las Vegas Valley. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County School Board president Deanna Wright on travel expenses
Clark County School Board President Deanna Wright says she followed proper expense protocol in trip to Florida last year.
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Shooting leaves 1 dead in southeast valley
A man was found fatally shot in the doorway of a squatter apartment after an argument ended in gunfire on Sunday night. Officers responded about 10:30 p.m. to the Silver Pines apartments and discovered the man in a breezeway in one of the buildings. The wounded man died at the scene, despite the efforts of another person, who tried to administer medical aid. Witnesses saw a man and a woman flee the scene, but were unable to give police a clear description.
North Las Vegas unveils new school crosswalk
North Las Vegas councilman Isaac Barron talks about the new school crosswalk in front of CP Squires Elementary School Monday, August 6, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
LVMPD Briefing on OIS #13
Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly held a press conference to discuss details of the 13th officer-involved-shoot for the department in 2018. Video shows the moments before the suspect was shot. The shooting, which has been edited out, occurred as the suspect lunged at an officer outside the apartment. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sedan and semitrailer collide in south Las Vegas
An early Wednesday morning crash has left one person in critical condition. A sedan and semitrailer collided around 4 a.m. at the corner of Spencer Street and Serene Avenue. Police do not believe impairment is a factor in the crash. Spencer has been blocked off north of Serene while police continue their investigation.
Cybersecurity Professionals Flock to Las Vegas for Black Hat
Black Hat USA, the largest annual cybersecurity conference, is expecting a record 17,000 attendees during its six-day run at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center this week. One thing attendees have in mind is making sure they don't get hacked while they're there. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police chase ends with suspects captured in east Las Vegas
An early Tuesday morning chase ended with a car crash in an east Las Vegas neighborhood. Police were pursuing the vehicle, which they say was involved in robberies in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, when the driver crashed at Owens and Statz Street. A man was taken into custody. A woman was ejected from a vehicle and taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The intersection at Mojave Road and Owens Avenue was shut down while police officers searched for the suspect and investigated. The intersection will remain closed for most of the morning.
Record number participate in Touro University Nevada White Coat Ceremony
Three hundred sixty-five medical students received their white coats during the Touro University Nevada White Coat Ceremony at the M Resort in Henderson Monday. The ceremony was developed to honor students in osteopathic medicine, physician assistant studies, nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy as they accept the professional responsibilities inherent in their relationship with patients. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Stop for school buses, urges CCSD
Clark County School District Police Department hold a mock traffic stop at Centennial High School in Las Vegas, Monday, Aug. 6, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Work Begins at Las Vegas Community Healing Garden
Crews moved the wooden Remembrance Wall at the Las Vegas Community Healing Garden on South Casino Center Boulevard Monday. Construction on a permanent wall is set to begin within the week. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Man wounded outside Cottages apartment
Las Vegas police don't have a motive after a man was shot early Monday morning outside a northwest valley apartment. The man's mother called police to say her son had been shot. She called police around 1:15 a.m. Other people were inside the apartment but no one else was injured. Police are still looking for the shooter.
Ride new Interstate 11 segment in one minute
Interstate 11 opens to the public Thursday, providing sweeping views of Lake Mead, art deco-style bridges and a mural illustrating the construction of Hoover Dam. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Miss El Tiempo 2019
Miss Teen El Tiempo and Miss El Tiempo 2019 were crowned at Sam's Town Saturday, August 4, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Las Vegas Woman Raises Awareness for Anxiety and Depression
Cassi Davis was diagnosed with anxiety and depression after the birth of her second child. After seeking help and support, she felt that there wasn't enough for support for those living day in and day out for those with mood disorders. She created the Crush Run, set for Sept. 22, to raise money for the Anxiety and Depression Association of America and bring together a community of people who live with the same conditions she does. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
North Las Vegas marks the opening of Tropical Parkway connector
The City of North Las Vegas, Nevada Department of Transportation and other partners celebrated the opening of the Tropical Parkway connector to Interstate 15 and the Las Vegas Beltway. The stretch of road will make access easier for distribution centers for Amazon, Sephora and other companies moving into an 1,100-acre industrial area rising near the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bighorn sheep with West Temple in background at Zion National Park
A bighorn sheep walks through Zion National Park (National Park Service)
Adult Superstore location closes after 45 years
The Adult Superstore on Main Street has closed its doors for good after 45 years. The shop, which offered a multitude of adult toys, novelty items and movies, opened in 1973. Four other locations remain open. A note on the front door tells customers, “We can’t fully express our sorrow.” Adult Superstore was awarded Best of Las Vegas adult store by the Review-Journal in 2016 and 2017 .
Funeral held for Las Vegas corrections officer
Department of Public Safety Correctional Officer Kyle Eng died July 19 after a fight with an inmate at the Las Vegas Jail. A funeral was held for Eng at Canyon Ridge Christian Church Monday, July 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What Back-To-School Shopping Is Like For a CCSD Parent and Teacher
Laura LeBowsky, a CCSD special education teacher and mother of two, set out to shop for her children's supply lists at her local Walmart and Target. She was looking for deals to try to keep the total under $150, while also allowing Chloe, 8, and Brady, 6, some choice in what they wanted. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Businesses struggle to fill food manufacturing jobs
Chelten House is a family-owned food manufacturing company from New Jersey. They created a facility in Vegas five years ago and have struggled to find experienced workers in the area. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LeBron heckler crosses line, altercation erupts
NBA superstar LeBron James, his wife, Savannah, and daughter Zhuri were at Liberty High School to watch Bronny James in action Wednesday night. But an unruly fan wearing a Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls jersey heckled the newest Los Angeles Laker. The man screamed at event security with LeBron and his family about 150 feet away. The man had to be restrained, triggering a brief altercation with security. James and his family were escorted out a side door along with Bronny's team, the North Coast Blue Chips. Event officials canceled the game between the Blue Chips and Nike Meanstreets.
Las Vegas Oddities Shop in Downtown Las Vegas
Las Vegas Oddities shop owner Vanessa VanAlstyne describes what's for sale in one of the weirder and wackier stores in Downtown Las Vegas. The store opened less than a year ago and carries everything from human bones to "rogue" taxidermy to Victorian death photography. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like