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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

#39 - Five Days in November - Clint Hill with Lisa McCubbin

Title:  Five Days in November
Author:  Clint Hill with Lisa McCubbin
Genre:  Memoir 973.922092
Read by:  Jeremy Bobb
Publisher/Date:   Simon and Schuster Audio/2013
Dates listened to:   7/8/17 – 7/10/17
CDs/Hours:  3/3.75

When Secret Service Agent Clint Hill published his memoir it had been fifty years since the assassination of John F. Kennedy, our country’s 35th president.  Hill, personal agent for Jacqueline Kennedy, witnessed the shooting from the vehicle following the presidential limousine.   He made a valiant effort to protect the President and Mrs. Kennedy but two of the three shots took our president’s life that fateful day.

A story that has taken Agent Hill fifty years to tell takes us through those five days in November and we watch the nearly three year-old John Kennedy Jr.’s pleas to come to Texas with his parents.  We witness the rapturous crowds of mixed ages and races that greeted the Kennedys at every stop in Texas.  We stand beside a shaken Lyndon Johnson as he is quickly sworn in as the next president.  We experience the first lady’s courage when she insists on walking in her husband’s funeral procession through the streets of Washington, D. C.   If she could bear it, then we could, too.  She was a role model for the rest of us so that we, too, may go on with our lives.

I still choke up at the memory of that day.  I was a senior in high school, sitting in Mr. Magden’s History class.  I later read the Warren Commission’s report of the events of the day and now I got to re-live it again, this time with more details that showed how the first family lived.  

Hill tells us poignantly, “President John F. Kennedy understood that the power of America lies not in its politics, whether you are red or blue, but in its resilience and unified vision of freedom and liberty.  One thing I know for sure is that he would not have wanted his legacy fifty years later to be a debate about the details of his death.  Rather he would want people to focus on the values and ideals on which he so passionately believed so that for all Americans our best days lie ahead.”

“A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.”  President John F. Kennedy

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