Today I’m thankful for for the surreal intersection of history and reality.
We had much of the afternoon to ourselves in Dallas today and a few of us decided to head to Dealey Plaza.
Since my teen years I’ve been interested in conspiracy theories JFK’s assassination. It’s been of interest because it seems that almost every American I’ve met who was alive at that time can tell you exactly where they were when they heard news of the event. There’s only a handful of news events that have had that type of impact on me and there was an allure to experience a location where history was made.
I’m not sure what I expected, but this completely normal looking intersection was definitely not it. This looked too ordinary, too small, too plain and too unspectacular to have been involved in a history changing moment of our country. Notice that I only used the word “looked.” How it “felt” is completely different.
It was so surreal to be standing in the area where JFK was gunned down. To be able to see the 6th floor room of the Book Depository, an “X” on the road where JFK was hit, and the grassy knoll all from the same vantage point was incredible. There was something about standing there that felt so bizarre. I couldn’t help but imagine standing there in the plaza with my family watching the President go by and then to witness the horror that followed. There’s just something about standing in a place that was so powerful in history that my mind just couldn’t quite comprehend. I’m not sure that I’m explaining it well enough, but it was proof to me that some places just need to be physically experienced and not just studied.
And that’s what I’m thankful for today. I was able to stand in a spot that was the location of an incredibly important event in history, disappear from today and reality, and slip back into history to experience something that put into perspective everything I’d heard about the event.