web analytics
August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Covering JFK’s Funeral for my School Paper

And here was my first inquisitive wonder: How did CBS get that footage of Oswald so quickly?
jfk-funeral-procession1

When you undergo a traumatic experience, especially at a young age, you remember details of that experience for the rest of your life.

And so it was for so many on the day of the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy on that fateful Friday – November 22, 1963.

I was an eighth grader at Akiba Hebrew Academy in Merion, Pennsylvania.

The day before, we had discussed in our current events club about how JFK and David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s recently resigned prime minister, had a vociferous argument over Israel’s nuclear weapons program, just six weeks after JFK pushed through the nuclear test ban treaty – for the entire world to sign.

JFK didn’t want Israel – or anyone else – to produce nuclear weapons.

Ben-Gurion shot back that Israel’s adversaries wanted genocide – that this was the lesson that the Jews had learned from the Nazis, that this was why the Jews needed nukes (the dialogue is well documented in Avner Cohen’s book Israel And The Bomb, Columbia University Press, 1998

As I walked out of school to catch the bus home that Friday afternoon, a seventh grader down the steps, yelling out the news that the president had been shot dead in Dallas.

First thoughts hit me were that JFK was such a young guy, like a nice uncle who always had new ideas. My mind was racing, and I quickly wrote down my thoughts when I got on the bus to go home.

How would we remember JFK? I remembered listening to him in sixth grade at his inauguration – “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” He had one message: to get involved. Join the Peace Corps. Fight for civil rights. Help Poor Nations Abroad, and act in accordance with “Profiles in Courage”: Be proud to stand for the principles of your country, no matter what.

Getting on the bus at City Line Avenue, people of all ages were sobbing. A black man getting on the bus said to the driver, “Do you know what he did for us?”

The editor of the school paper, known as the Gateway, was also on that bus.

I told her that my dad was commuting these days to Washington DC, as an engineer working on central air conditioning at the big post office in DC. Saying that I could join him there, I asked if I could cover the JFK funeral for the school paper. She said “sure” and I got my first press assignment..

My thoughts on the bus which I wrote down at the time were that we “must do something to help our country” to remember our fallen president. As I sauntered down the sidewalk on Malvern Avenue in Overbrook Park, my Mom was standing outside, her hands folded. She asked me what I thought. My eight-year-old brother, Neal, standing beside her, shrugged his shoulders and said that “hey, we have an old man again,” meaning Lyndon Johnson.

And there was The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin delivered on our door step an hour before, spread out on the couch, with the headline “Kennedy shot in Dallas street,” superimposed over the sub headline: “Nixon, in Dallas, says that Kennedy will drop Johnson in 1964.”

Sitting in the living room for hours, we watched a shaken Walter Cronkite describe everything that he could about JFK and then about the ex-marine Lee Harvey Oswald. The weekly satire show “That Was The Week That Was”, hosted by David Frost, led with a melody that was written on the spot by the usually hilarious staff, now somber and serious. Nancy Ames sang the lyrics:



“A young man rode with his head held high, under the Texas sun, And no one guessed, That a man so blessed, would perish by the gun, Lord, would perish by the gun. A shot rang out like a southern shout. And Heaven held its breath. For a man shot down, In a Southern town, In the summer of his years, Yes, the summer of his years”.

As I psyched myself up that Sunday to cover the funeral the following day in Washington – where my friend Gary and I would accompany my dad at what was then called Pennsylvania Railroad Station at 30th Street – I was glued to the TV screen, to learn anything and everything that could be learned about the assassination and the assassin.

About the Author: David Bedein is Bureau Chief of Israel Resource News Agency, presenting news items and analyses not often seen in your standard mainstream electronic or print media, even if you live in the Middle East.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Covering JFK’s Funeral for my School Paper”

  1. Batya Spiegelman Medad says:

    David Bedein you sure started young. Great article.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A member of Students for Justice in Palestine punched a pro-Israel student in the face at Temple University, Aug. 20, 2014. SJP claims the pro-Israel student provoked the incident.
Pro-’Palestine’ Students at Temple U Blame Victim for Altercation
Latest Indepth Stories
Charles Krauthammer

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

David_Grossman

Blaming Israel for the violence in Gaza, he ends up justifying Hamas’s terrorism.

488px-WielkaSynagoga3_Lodz

In the Thirties it was common for anti-Semites to call on Jews to “go to Palestine!”

Netanyahu-Obama-030212

Obama never hid his contempt for the Israeli government or the majority of Israel’s voters.

“This arbitrary ban is an ugly stain on our democracy, and it also undermines the rule of law.”

We take US “aid” for psychological reasons-if we have an allowance, that means we have a father.

ZIM Piraeus isn’t Israeli-owned or flagged, incidentally, it is Greek operated.

Foolish me, thinking the goals were the destruction of Hamas thereby giving peace a real chance.

The free-spirted lifestyle didn’t hold your interest; the needs of your people did.

And why would the U.S. align itself on these issues with Turkey and Qatar, longtime advocates of Hamas’s interests?

Several years ago the city concluded that the metzitzah b’peh procedure created unacceptable risks for newborns in terms of the transmission of neo-natal herpes through contact with a mohel carrying the herpes virus.

The world wars caused unimaginable anguish for the Jews but God also scripted a great glory for our people.

We were quite disappointed with many of the points the secretary-general offered in response.

Judging by history, every time Hamas rebuilds their infrastructure, they are stronger than before.

His father asked him to read Psalms from the Book of Tehilim every day.

More Articles from David Bedein
jfk-funeral-procession1

And here was my first inquisitive wonder: How did CBS get that footage of Oswald so quickly?

IDF units retreating from Lebanon, February, 1985.

The possible conclusion of current Israel Palestinian Authority talks was reached over 8 years ago.

UNRWA’s screening practices for beneficiaries and broader financial practices put them in potential violation of two U.S. laws.

This blithely written book presents Jerusalem as the home of all monotheistic faiths, disregarding the unique bond between Jews and their ancient capital.

Despite its humanitarian mandate, UNRWA’s very existence is political.

I had accidentally happened upon the Jewish ghetto, where Jews were banned from most occupations and their dwellings restricted.

Netanyahu should formulate an interim solution to the “West Bank.”

From the 1990s onward, Iran has gone further than any Arab country in hosting and officially endorsing Western Holocaust deniers.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/behind-the-news-in-israel-david-bedein/covering-jfks-funeral-for-my-school-paper/2013/11/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: