John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1917-1963
Since November 22, 1963, I have lost both of my parents, other relatives, and some good friends, but nothing has ever come close to the devastation I felt on that day. I can’t imagine that anything ever will.
In the early 1960s, I ran the Alumni Office at Iolani School, one of the top two secondary schools in Hawaii.
I had just arrived at work on that Friday morning and found several people crowding around a small radio. Bing Fai Lau, the school’s Business Manager, looked up, a stricken expression on his face. “They’ve shot Kennedy,” he whispered.
We stood there, four or five of us, around the radio until the official word came: the president was dead. In Hawaii, it was just after 8:30 in the morning.
I remember having just one thought . . . that the flag at the entrance to the school grounds had to be brought to half-staff immediately . . . that every second it remained flapping at the top of the flag pole was a kind of desecration.
I dashed out the door and ran across the campus, less than a hundred yards, to the flag pole. Three Iolani boys were already there, lowering the flag. All three were asian. All three were weeping.