By Ron Santora, VP, TV broadcasting and station manager
I was a just entering my teenage years when I heard our new president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy say “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” Those words have stuck with me all my life. In fact, those words probably had more influence in my choosing a career in public broadcasting than any other. But possibly the tipping point for me as it relates to that phrase uttered by JFK on his inauguration day was Friday, November 22, 1963.
I was a senior in high school in my study hall class when one of the most dreadful announcements of my life was made by our high school principal. The announcement that our president, my president, had been shot. The man who asked what each of us could do for our country lay somewhere between life and death was unfathomable. Then sometime later the final announcement came, the President was dead. The country came together as it hadn’t since before any of us could remember.
If you were alive then and were a witness to that time, I know that you too have your own memories, memories that are burned into your mind as few times in history have. If you were not alive, trust me when I say, it was a tragedy that shaped the future of many people’s lives who experienced it.
Join WNED-TV in honoring President Kennedy’s legacy this month.
JFK: Breaking The News
Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 8 p.m.
Look at the broadcast coverage of the assassination of President Kennedy.
JFK: American Experience – Two-part series
Tuesday, Nov. 22 and Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 9 p.m.
Look at JFK’s birth to election as president in 1960. // Explore his successes and failures in the White House and assassination.
Do you have any memories of President Kennedy? Feel free to comment below!