Thursday, November 23, 2006

NOVEMBER 22, 1963

"Superman was killed in Dallas"-- Used To Be by Stevie Wonder

"JFK blown away, what else do I have to say?" -- We Didn't Start The Fire by Billy Joel

Dear Sage, I think you're still too young to have childhood heroes other than the ones close to you. Eons ago I remember idolizing a man who, at the age of 46, embodied the boundless idealism of youth, courage and strength. Maybe it was because of the songs, more like elegies, about the man himself. Maybe it was because of the legend. Maybe it was because of the speeches he made in his brief life and even briefer stint as the most "Heroic" US president of the Cold War. I really don't know. And I also can't remember when I stopped worshipping the man as a hero. Maybe when I first heard about Marilyn Monroe, or Joseph Kennedy's deals to get the critical number of electoral votes, or when I first read about Ted Kennedy's actions or inactions in Chappaquiddick.
I really don't think of him as a hero these days. I have become very objective of my assessment of the man, JFK. I still love reading and re-reading his speeches though. I admire most his speech about the decision to go to the moon before the 60's were out "not because it is easy, but because it is hard."
When you grow up, Anakis, you will find out that the real hero didn't die in Dallas, or Luneta, or the Manila International Airport; the only true HERO died in calvary.
Yesterday was JFK's death anniversary. They say that he became president for only one thousand days. You can say that it was America's "one, brief, shining moment."
What's good about the Philippines, Sage? It's this:
unlike America,
Our shining moment,
Our finest hour,
is yet to come...

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