Sunday, August 30, 2009


I'm so unbearably tired of watching stuff on TV about Senator Edward Kennedy.  I'm not a great admirer of his, although it appears there was a lot of good in him.  And there wasn't much else you could watch this past week.  Yesterday Demetrios wanted to watch the funeral mass and the burial at Arlington National Cemetery...

It was just this past November we buried Dad's ashes there; I wasn't ready to re-visit the place, even by television.   It's too, too familiar.

And of course, it also reminded me of President Kennedy's burial.  We were there.  Dad took Michael and Wendy and me to Arlington Cemetery.  I don't remember why we didn't bring Barbara along; maybe because at 6 she was thought too young?  Anyway, we stood right where the vehicles have to stop and let out their passengers so they can walk up that hill, to where the eternal flame is now. 

I remember Prince Philip walking up it, and how extremely handsome he was in profile; I had never realized that before.  France's President, Charles de Gaulle, walked up that hill alone, absolutely alone, which was astounding, as there had recently been more than one attempt to assassinate him.  He had no body guard, at least not in sight.  Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, showed up, all medals, ribbons, and braid.  And all the other heads of state or their representatives, assorted VIPS, and of course, the Kennedy family; they all got out of their limousines where we were standing.

We were not Kennedy fans in our family; we were Republicans.  But as Mom said, he was still our President!  We took as much offense as anyone else that someone had killed him.  

The day it happened I was home from school sick.  Well, not really sick.  It was a Friday, and I just wanted a long weekend.  Mom was at work, and she phoned me around noon and said, "Turn on the radio.  The President has been shot!"

"What do you mean, shot?"  I demanded.  "You mean shot dead?"

"We don't know yet.  Turn on the radio!"

I don't know why the radio; we did have a television.  But somehow, it was the radio I obediently turned on.

That didn't last for long.  We spent the whole weekend glued to the TV, as did virtually all Americans.  Besides the shock, there was great fear, because we didn't know whether it might have been a foreign plot, or whether (as with September 11) it might only be prelude to something more.  We were half expecting another shoe to drop.

Anyway, all those memories connected with Arlington National Cemetry came flooding back this weekend, and I really wasn't ready and willing, yet, to go there.

I'm glad it's over.  Kyrie, eleison!