As the oldest WPT’s team member I was the only one even alive when President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963. I had just become a teenager having turned thirteen just four months earlier. What a horrific weekend that was!
My grammar school had just installed black and white TV sets in all the classrooms that Summer before. In the early afternoon, that Friday, one of the Sisters of Charity entered my classroom and told my teacher to “turn on the TV.” Within minutes, however, we were all herded together to moved to the adjacent Church to pray for our president...as the weekend unfolded myself and my friends heard about and witnessed all the secondary traumas; the swearing in of the new president, Oswald’s death (the first live TV broadcasted homicide), the funeral, the salute from John-John, the brave widow...
Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy, Vietnam all left their respective indelible marks on my generation. Violence became all too understood but rarely accepted and, sadly, rarely eliminated. What was the new normal? Who had the answers?
WPT’s is by no means a political organization. I couldn't tell you who was a Republican, Independent, a Democrat or apolitical within our small group. We are focused on horses, partners and racing almost all of the time. Our “blogs” are almost exclusively related to the Thoroughbred horse. We focus on becoming a better organization, including being increasingly effective at what we do - user friendly if you will. Our charitable contributions go to entities supporting people, health and hopefully improving lives. I do know factually that the majority of us here are parents, some with still small children.
Almost fifty years after I experienced my first “horrific weekend,” our children have now lived that experience, maybe the younger ones for their first time. No commentary here, as “solutions” will, and have already been, subsequently presented from multiple fronts. Most of us are doing what our neighbors, relatives and all of America is doing this week before Christmas. Praying, reflecting, understanding how precious human life is - how vulnerable and temporary.
As are you, we are thinking of Newtown and Sandy Hook, CT, especially all of those beautiful and innocent children.