Dallas Morning News Editorial – 50th anniversary of JFK assassination deserves a silent dignity

November 24, 2011

Here is the Dallas Morning News editorial backing up the Sixth Floor Museum takeover of Dealey Plaza on the 50th anniversary for their own “Moment of Silence”, which is clearly meant to continue as perpetual silence under the cover of being “respect”. You do not respect the dead by failing to solve their murders, for justice must have it’s claim. It is very clear that they want to link “conspiracy theorists” with “oddballs” and with a “carnival atmosphere” in order to silence dissent. All the while mouthing platitudes about “America” and free speech. Penn Jones, Jr. and I have observed this tradition together over the last 47 years, a Moment of Silence on the Grassy Knoll to speak to the unresolved questions that surround the assassination to this day. I am challenging their decision to deny us a permit for 2013 and will assert our right and duty to speak truth on the Grassy Knoll as long as the lies persist.

Dallas Morning News Editorial – 50th anniversary of JFK assassination deserves a silent dignity
November 2, 2011

Dealey Plaza, on almost any other day, is a quiet place. Oaks overlook Elm Street, one of the three downtown thoroughfares that squeeze under the Triple Underpass. Cars swirl through on their way to Stemmons Freeway.

Tourists and the curious walk the sharp turn from Houston onto Elm, past the former Texas School Book Depository, up the grassy knoll, peering over the familiar picket fence.

Some pause at the taped “X” on Elm that marks a singular moment in history, the point at which an assassin’s bullet killed President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963.

The plaza, dedicated as a National Historic Landmark in 1993, changes each year on Nov. 22. An anniversary brings out hundreds, even thousands. Some come to remember with reverence, others less so. That latter group unfortunately turns Dealey Plaza into an exhibitionistic carnival, with every conspiracy theory under the sun battling for attention with assorted oddballs, trinket vendors and crackpots.

Hey, it’s America. People have a right.

Our hope, with the 50th anniversary of the darkest day in Dallas history a little more than two years off, is that they show some respect.

We’re encouraged that the Sixth Floor Museum, dedicated to Kennedy’s life and death, will fill a void and take over commemoration activities at Dealey Plaza. The Sixth Floor occupies the former book depository space and is named for the spot from which Lee Harvey Oswald is believed to have fired the fatal shots.

Whether you believe that really isn’t the point anymore. Poll after poll shows significant numbers doubt that Oswald could have acted alone and instead believe that a conspiracy variously attributed to the CIA, the FBI, the Mafia, right-wing extremists, the military-industrial complex, anti-Castro Cubans, communists or fascists had to have killed such a consequential man.

It’s America. Believe what you wish.

But for this one day, let Dallas, for perhaps the first time, remember that terrible day — and a president’s life — with the dignity and sense of history it deserves. Dallas has long been marked, unfairly so, as “the city that killed Kennedy.” It has struggled with that legacy in a way Memphis never did for the slaying of a civil rights leader or Los Angeles for the murder of a slain president’s brother.

A vast majority of today’s Dallas either wasn’t born or didn’t live here on Nov. 22, 1963. The city has respectfully bowed to the wishes of the Kennedy family by not staging a public remembrance in the decades since, leaving one of history’s most important sites to the self-promoters.

Nicola Longford, the Sixth Floor’s executive director, says the museum hasn’t yet decided on specifics for Nov. 22, 2013. “It may be simply a moment of silence,” she said. “It will absolutely not be a festival. It will be a dignified and appropriate commemoration.”

If so, Dallas will owe the Sixth Floor a solemn debt.

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