There are always several significant dates that mark notable times in our lives-dates that are so wedged in our consciousness that one vividly remembers where we were and what we were doing – and of course some days mean different things for often several reasons.

In some cases they are celebratory but in others the noteworthy reality of the day or time forever etches the occasion to such an extent it just can’t be overlooked.

Dec 7, the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is days away as are days surrounding the Grizzlies claiming national championships which corresponded to my mother’s birthday and parents anniversary

But last week I suddenly realized that Nov 22, that fateful day in Dallas in 1963 passed with hardly a national observation, a small local newspaper story on the back page of the news section and more notably for this humble scribe it passed without my notice on any venue.

In fact it was the next afternoon before it dawned on me the day had come and gone.

The date is quite personal to me.

As a U.S. Navy corpsman on active duty at the time John Fitzgerald Kennedy was my Commander in Chief at the time of his assassination.

And while, like with us all, there have far too many such significant occurrences but in my mind-probably because Pearl Harbor occurred before I was born, the murder of Kennedy was the first to shake my consciousness.

As a 20 year old in my first couple of years in the military, I had been transferred from Hospital Corps School at Balboa Hospital in San Diego to Naval Hospital at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton.

I was working nights in the emergency room and so was sacked out in the barracks when I was shaken awake by more noise than usual to find the President had been shot.

At that early time we didn’t know the seriousness of his wounds and of course it was vague at what or whom, questions that since I was in the military immediately became paramount.

For those reasons, it is shocking to me how the day could slip by without my notice but more importantly the eternal flame at Arlington national cemetery burns bright and long but not in our minds eye.


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