Remembering Kennedy’s inauguration day

Friday January 20, 2006

I was thinking, this is the 20th. It nearly had to snow on January 20th, 1961, didn’t it? Else I wouldn’t have seen the inauguration on television and been enchanted.

The snowstorm blanketed the northeast. You weren’t the only one enchanted that morning.

Yes, I see. It was a part of the necessary package.

He moved the country far by what he was and by the manner of his sudden shocking public murder – just like Mr. Lincoln. The parallels are many and they are not inconsequential. Many a man in public life quietly tried to live his life in accordance with Mr. Lincoln’s ideals, you know.

I hadn’t thought of it, but of course it makes sense – so he continued to influence people and public life for more than a century after he died.

His work and his influence aren’t finished yet. No reason why they should be. Even after the change, you know, at another level people will continue to be living “normal” lives. People will be born, will be children, will be educated one way or another, will establish households and will support themselves, and have children of their own – you know. You must not under-rate the importance of what is called normal life. As we have told you more than once, even connection with the gods – so to speak – may be overdone.

I could write books about the America I used to love?

The America you do love – the ideal, and the inspiration. To do so you need to clear out a lot of other shrubbery.

6 thoughts on “Remembering Kennedy’s inauguration day

  1. What a nice post. I remember that day–it WAS magical. I was ten, and we were living on a farm in Newtown Square, PA, just outside of Philadelphia. The snow was deep enough that we built crawl tunnels through it (something I am not so sure I would have let my own children do!). My mother just adored John Kennedy, so our TV and radios were always tuned to his events.

    Frank, I am wondering if you plan to publish the Nathaniel posts in book form?

      1. I’d be very interested in buying a Kindle version of the Nathaniel manuscripts through Amazon. I will occasionally go back into the blog to reread parts of it. I prefer a hard copy, when you do find a publisher. I just like the feel of holding a book and being able to mark my favorite passages with a pencil.

  2. I remember it, too. And I remember being ignited by his words and finding something in myself that held onto his energy and then being imprinted and changed forever.
    And I still remember the sound of the wail that went up at our Catholic girl’s school when his death was announced…
    These days, it all sounds like Verdun and it’s good to remember JFK and that brief and hopeful period in our lives.

    1. You know what I find hopeful? All the people who do still remember. And, if I could be inspired by the life of Lincoln nearly 100 years after he was murdered, presumably generations of people yet to come can still be inspired by the life of Kennedy, no less than of Lincoln, no matter when they are born.

  3. I am (as usual) struck by the way TGU responds to nostalgia and ‘dreams’ of the past: they honor and respect those dreams/wishes/regrets, while gently but firmly ‘pointing’ toward the future … (potential) things to come.

    “Even after the change … people will continue to be living ‘normal’ lives.” In other venues this sentence would be remarkable! One could speculate endlessly on what’s meant by ‘change’ and how people will adjust their ‘normal’ life. Elias indicates this change is bringing a lot of trauma to people; seems like we see that reflected in the news every day.

    Frank, I (and I gather guidance) firmly believe you have the skill (with written words) and worldview to meaningfully connect “the America [you] used to love” to the world that’s coming … and that effort in that direction could help reduce the trauma.

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