November 22, 1963



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During a recent telephone conversation with my older son about my recollections of President Kennedy’s tragic death, he observed the following: “While my generation is familiar with President Kennedy’s assassination through books, newscasts, and documentaries, unlike you, I don’t have a personal experience and frame of reference for these events in the same manner that the 9/11 experience has given me and my generation.” How true! The tendency to frame historic and personal experiences through the lens of “before,” “during,” and “after” an event is a unique ocular device through which the admixture of active personal eyewitness and communal poignant experiences are structured so as to narrow the focus from a macro to a micro perspective. This perspective allows the individual to be an active participant at the front and center of a momentous historic event — thus giving credence to the notion that a collective catastrophe could transform individuals and nations.