Somber Nation Marks JFK 50th Anniversary

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

DALLAS (AP) - Americans today have paused to remember John F. Kennedy, 50 years after he was gunned down in Dallas while riding in an open-top limousine.

In Dealey Plaza in Dallas, just steps from where the president was assassinated, about 5,000 people gathered under gray skies in near-freezing temperatures -- a contrast to the bright sunshine that greeted Kennedy a half-century ago.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said it was a day "when hope and hatred collided." He said Kennedy and Dallas "will forever be linked in tragedy."

Rawlings today unveiled a plaque with remarks that Kennedy had been scheduled to deliver later that day in Dallas.

In Boston, Gov. Deval (deh-VAL') Patrick took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Kennedy statue on the front lawn of the Statehouse.

Earlier today, at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, Jean Kennedy Smith laid a wreath at her brother's grave. She's the last surviving Kennedy sibling. She was accompanied by about 10 members of the Kennedy family.

Today's remembrance extended across the ocean to Kennedy's ancestral home in Ireland. A half-dozen Irish soldiers formed a guard of honor today outside the U.S. Embassy as the American flag was lowered to half-staff.

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