Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dealey Plaza in Dallas

We just spent a wonderful week-end with our son Dan and his fiance Amanda. Amanda's parents live in Arlington, the city where we have parked our rig. It was great that, besides visiting with our son and Amanda, we also were able to get acquainted with her parents before the wedding in July. Yesterday, Saturday, we drove into Dallas to tour that city together, especially the west end of it. It was interesting walking the streets of downtown Dallas and viewing its skyline of modernistic architecture. Below is a picture of some of the buildings. I took the picture below standing at Dealey Plaza. In the background of the picture is Reunion Tower, the focal point of the Reunion area, a settlement of French emigrants in the 19th century.
 Dealey Plaza is "The Front Door of Dallas", the cradle of Dallas history and a source of civic pride. It is the major gateway to the city from the west. And yet that historic focus changed dramatically for Dallas on November 22, 1963. The picture below was also taken from the plaza, and in the  background notice a large brick building. That is the Texas Depository building, the building from which allegedly Lee Harvey Oswald shot President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The sixth floor, from which the sniper shot at the presidential, is now
 a museum.
In the museum John F. Kennedy's life, death, and legacy are chronicled. More than 400 photographs, artifacts and models are displayed. Short films and an audio guide replay the historic radio and television broadcasts of the events before and after the shooting. The exact location of the sniper's perch and the storage space where his rifle was found is set up exactly as the police found it. It all was very impressive to view, as well as very sobering. In the museum Saturday we were shoulder to shoulder with many people from all walks of life and of different ages ( many of the younger people probably had been born after 1963), but they all seemed to have the same quiet and pensive mood which I felt.  It appeared that the horrific event hit everyone, including myself,  with the same impact it had some 48 years ago. From the Texas Depository we walked along the grassy knoll ( where some thought that a lone bullet had been shot at the motorcade from another location), and looked over Elm Avenue where the event had occurred.

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