The assassination of President John F. Kennedy will always haunt the American psyche. There are no definitive answers to the events that took place in Dealey Plaza on that day. What we, the American public, have been left with is conspiracy theories. More sadly though, November 22nd 1963 may represent the day that Americans began to lose trust and faith in our governmental institutions.
I was born in 1971, almost eight years after the fact. By the time I came of age to understand the impact of the assassination most Americans did not fully believe the Warren Commission Report. Congress had re-opened an investigation and held further hearings concerning the assassination. Watergate had toppled the Presidency of Richard Nixon. Iran-Contra would unfold. By the time I reached college in the fall of 1989 I was myself questioning how much I could trust our government.
For the majority of my adult life I have wondered if that feeling, that lack of basic trust, can be traced back to November 22nd, 1963. Did America take a sudden turn on that day that we as a nation may never fully be able to recover from? Would cold hard facts concerning the assassination yet to be uncovered even matter at this point? Or would they be lumped into another perpetual cycle of conspiracy?
Loss of faith in anyone or any institution is ultimately destructive. It weakens us to some degree. The question I pose is how much has November 22nd, 1963 affected your faith and trust in the American government? Whether you were born before the assassination and can remember exactly where you were and what you were doing on that date, or if you were born after the fact, the events in Dealey Plaza changed our lives. How do you feel it has changed yours?