In recent days, we’ve been talking a bit about Veterans Day in the office.

The day is one I look forward to more with each passing year. It’s a chance to thank those who have served this nation well. I always feel a sense of appreciation and pride when I attend Veterans Day programs and see those, young and old, who have worn the uniform of the U.S. Armed Forces.

There are several such programs on tap to honor veterans in the next several days. If you get the chance visit one at Scottsboro Junior High School today at 9 a.m., at Hollywood Elementary School today at 12:30 p.m. or at Collins Intermediate School Monday at 10:45 a.m. you’ll be glad you did and, if you take the opportunity, you will have the privilege of meeting some men and women who fought in World War II and the many others who have fought in other wars and conflicts since. They are patriots who sacrificed and served with honor.

DeWayne and I talked at length about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy 50 years ago. After that, I began to think back to Nov. 22, 1963.

I was a young boy but that event is forever etched into my memory as it is for all who are old enough to remember the day.

I heard the news as a third grader at Caldwell Elementary School. The mood became somber in a hurry and a sense of uncertainty was evident in students and teachers alike.

At home, my family was glued to the television set for the next few days as news related to the shooting was aired almost continuously. We soon learned the shooter was named Lee Harvey Oswald. We watched as Jack Ruby shot Oswald during a jail transfer. We watched as people filed by Kennedy’s flag-draped coffin and we witnessed the procession to Arlington National Cemetery.

I remember my mother got copies of newspapers from around the region and kept them for history sake. I saw them, and a full color illustrated hardbound book she purchased that detailed the events in photos, several years back but can’t remember where I found the memorabilia. It’s a piece of history I’ve got to rediscover.

My curiosity peaked; I checked the archives here at the office. The front-page headline in the Sunday, November 24, 1963 edition of The Sentinel Age simply read: “PRESIDENT KENNEDY IS SLAIN IN TEXAS.” On an eight-column front page it took up only two columns and was not accompanied by a photo. The Nov. 28 Thursday edition of the then twice a week paper made no mention of the story.

There were many monumental events in the latter half of the 20th Century that are etched in my memory (the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and JFK’s brother, Robert Kennedy, man landing on the moon, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the start of the Gulf War among them). But nothing remains as vivid in my mind as the murder of the first president I truly remember.

For many of you it’s likely the same. Please let us know your memories and thoughts about the assassination as we prepare to remember the day and its ramifications in just two weeks. You can email me directly at, send correspondence to or visit our Facebook page at

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