As a child I remember listening to a speaker address a crowd with the question “Do you remember where you were the day John Kennedy was assassinated?” The adults in the room looked knowingly at each other and mumbled a few words. I especially remember being told that my dad was in Dallas that day and my mom was about 90% certain that he had done it. It caused a little tension in the marriage which — I like to think — was happily resolved with the act of my conception. 

But the gist of the speech was that every generation experiences some sort of defining moment but that it’s what happens afterward that defines us as a people. In the case of JFK you could argue that everything else that happened in the 1960’s and 70’s had its roots in that November day.

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