November 22nd and the good men who died that day

Fifty years ago today, three shots cut through the Dallas air, one missed its intended target; the other two did not, killing the 35th President of the United States.

I was five years old that day, and my earliest memories of life are of me sitting on my father’s lap the weekend of the assassination watching the Presidential funeral. The steady drum beat of the somber procession is a sound that is seared in my mind forever.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s thousand days as president left an inedible mark on this nation and the world.  His words inspiring millions; lighting a flame in me to love public speaking and to cherish the written word, here are some of my favorite inspiring quotes from the president:

  • “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
  • “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer.”
  • “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.”

Benjamin Franklin Bland is the funniest, honest and wisest person I have ever met and the best father a son could ever have. His wit and wisdom are woven into the fabric of my life.   Proverbs 1:8 tell us: “To listen to what your father teaches you. “ Of the many things my father taught me here are three things that have become bedrock in my life.

  • “Humor can improve any situation.”
  • “You can get ahead in life if you just keep your mouth shut, keep your ears open and keep your knees bent in prayer.”
  • “Good liars are really smart – and son you are not really smart.”

On November 22, 1963 the world mourned the death of a good man, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and wondered what more could he had given the world, if he had lived.

On November 22, 1999 family and friends mourned the death of a good man Benjamin Franklin Bland; but there was no wonder, for we all knew and celebrated the full and complete life that God had given him.

It is said that our lives are but a vapor in the vast universe of time.  John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Benjamin Franklin Bland died on the same date November 22nd 36 years apart.  Their lives remind us of the difference that the words and deeds of good men can make within the vapor of a lifetime; not only for the time that they lived….but for generations to come.

Thank you, Mr. President

Thank you, Dad


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