Lately I’ve been reading about the perilous years of the sixties in the United States. During that unstable decade, there were violent riots against the war in Vietnam, a ferocious cultural movement against the values of the country led by the hippies, and violent racial unrest in the Deep South speared by MLK. Leonard Cohen summarized it well in his song, “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”
During those difficult years, the Kennedy brothers gave the troubled people something to look for. For a brief moment in time Camelot was alive and emanated a bright light of hope. Many pundits feel that the Kennedy’s greatest contribution was that “He made us feel that we were better than we thought we were.” That was the big loss.
There’s so much a president can do to inspire a nation—it’s hard to even remember that nowadays. JFK and RFK liberated an enormous energy in the country.
There is a video in YouTube that depicts a snapshot of the confusion and mayhem than reigned in the country during the sixties. The name of the video is “7 O’Clock News/Silent Night”. This song performed by Simon and Garfunkel was a bitter juxtaposition of jarring news headlines backed by the soothing strains of the Christmas carol. While a radio announcer briskly reports a grim barrage of news—Vietnam, civil rights battles, mass murders, celebrity drug overdoses—the duo sweetly sing that “all is calm, all is bright.”
Let’s walk together through the memory lanes of those tumultuous years.
We can do better than this. The Kennedy brothers showed us the way, and gave their lives in the process. They made the ultimate sacrifice for Peace. Good Day.