Some moments change the very fabric of society. When people say they can remember where they were and what they were doing when they heard. Remembered, memorialized, wept about even years later. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy was one of those days, not just for America, but also for the world.It was a more innocent time. We didn’t know every little detail about our politicians and celebrities. JFK was young, handsome, charming, charismatic, a great speaker, seemed to want to do what was best for his country and its citizens, had a lovely family. He was murdered in his prime. His image will live forever. He will never age. He wasn’t around to weather the scandals.
Like all celebrities who pass young they become immortalized. Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Heath Ledger, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix…frozen in time. We shouldn’t be surprised to find out our celebrities and politicians are flawed, they always were, they’re human, after all.
In Canada we don’t mourn public figures the same way as in America. Except Jack Layton, who died of cancer months after being elected Leader of the Opposition. Many Canadians mourned his passing. The difference? He touched something in many people. His battle with cancer, his integrity, common sense and caring and his refusal to go negative. He gave Canadians hope. He was the best Prime Minister that Canada never had.
So on this day we remember John F. Kennedy, the legacy and the tragedy. He lived in simpler times. We now know so much more about people in the spotlight. While it’s good to know, it has pointed out there are few left to admire. Perhaps we should be content to enjoy celebrities for what they are and hold our politicians to account so they serve their people, not themselves. Times have changed.