November 15, 2003, Saturday, BC cycle
Assassination still stirs memories, debate 40 years later
BYLINE: By BOBBY ROSS JR. and PENNY COCKERELL, Associated Press Writers
SECTION: Domestic News
LENGTH: 1403 words
Moments before President John F. Kennedy’s limousine reached the Texas School Book Depository on that November afternoon four decades ago, Nellie Connally turned to Kennedy and remarked, “No one can say Dallas doesn’t love and respect you, Mr. President.”
“You sure can’t,” he said.
The first shot sounded like a firecracker. The next two were unmistakably gunfire.
At the 40th anniversary of Kennedy’s death, the moments remain frozen in the American psyche, the assassination still a source of fascination for historians, conspiracy theorists and an estimated 2.2 million people who visit Dealey Plaza each year.
“It’s an age-old search for the truth,” said Greg Silva, 39, a Hilmar, Calif., salesman who wasn’t even born when Kennedy died but made it a point to visit The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza during a recent business trip to Dallas.
For others, the assassination endures as a deeply personal experience – a lingering mix of heartbreak, nostalgia and the lost promise of Camelot. Those emotions are clear at The Sixth Floor Museum.
“If you take people there that are old enough to remember the event, you lose them. They are back with their mother and father, sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles,” said Greg Elam, spokesman for the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“You can tiptoe away and they’ll never know it because they are back in that experience.”