I was in a small downstate high school science class when we got the word that the president had been shot. All classes were canceled, and everyone listened for further news. I was not totally upset. Dallas was a major city with many good hospitals, and no expense would be spared to save the most powerful man in the world. Experts could be called in from anywhere to help.
In a short time we were told that the president had died. I couldn't believe it. We were the greatest nation on earth, and our medical system was the envy of the free world. I would never again blindly believe things like that.
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In coming years I would personally witness the student riots at Ohio State University and spend my time in Vietnam. I would also slowly learn of the other, more insidious side of John F. Kennedy. The questionable votes to get elected, mafia connections, hiding his bad back, and his insatiable sex addiction that could have been revealed at any time. His whole image was a fake and Camelot was a charade played on a naive public.
Don't get me wrong. I still believe the United States is the greatest nation on earth. The chances for individual freedom and advancement cannot be matched anywhere. But there are concerns. If the majority of the American people really start to doubt the ability of our country to work together and solve problems, we are headed down.
Overspending and moral decay helped lead to the fall of the Roman Empire and should serve as a warning. Jack Kennedy and the early '60s may have indeed been the high water mark of our nation.
Michael R. Johnson