Archive for November 22nd, 2013

Aaron Shikler-  John F Kennedy -Official PortraitHistory often turns on certain points in time, with dramatic  events that send us on a course that seem drastically different than the one we imagined ourselves to be on beforehand.  Perhaps it’s an exercise in futility to wonder what the world might look like had these events not taken place but one can’t help but imagine, if only for a moment,  an alternative history.  For instance, how would our country look today had Lincoln not been assassinated or if the events of 9/11 had been averted?  Pearl Harbor?

Of course, I’m writing this today on the day marking the 50th year since President John F. Kennedy was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas back in 1963.  That day seemed to mark a swing in our consciousness from which I don’t think we’ve ever fully recovered, leaving me to wonder how the last 50 years would have differed had not JFK been killed.  Where would we be now?

The ripples from this event are many.  How would Viet Nam proceeded?  Would there have been the same escalation and would there have been the same sense of outrage from the youthful protesters of that era?  Would the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr and Robert Kennedy taken place?  Did JFK’s killing somehow enable these other assassinations?

I find my head swimming with what-ifs and coulda-beens when I ponder this.  More than my simple mind can handle.  But sitting here this morning, fifty years after that day in Dallas, I can’t imagine a scenario where our world is better now than it would have been had that day not taken place.  I know there is no room for such regrets, that we are where we are and no amount of despairing  will change the course of history we’ve followed to this point.  But, if only for a moment on this single morning, I would like to think of what might have been.  Perhaps, if string theory somehow applies, there is a parallel reality where the events of that day never happened and our arc through history was much different.  I know that I would like to see that …



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