Running head: PRESIDENT JOHN KENNEDY ASSASSINATION 1
PRESIDENT JOHN KENNEDY ASSASSINATION 5
Interview summary on President John Kennedy assassination
On 22nd November in the year 1963, President John F. Kennedy took a trip to Dallas to boost his support in the state of Texas for his re-election campaign. However, an assassin’s bullet took his life, an incident that is still covered in controversy (Farabaugh, 2013). Since the day of the happening, Secret Service agents that were assigned for his protection have revealed very little on the event.
President John F. Kennedy’s quest for a second term re-election made him frequently travel which was not a walk in the park for the Secret Service, more so if it involved the president’s wife as well. “There was a countless number of variables; therefore, one could not predict the reaction of the crowd.” In Texas, the vice president alongside the president was to ride in the same vehicle which made the situation more unstable for the Secret Service agents who were supposed to shield them from any danger.
However, in the past few years, some former agents have revealed the happenings of that day and the way it has transformed their lives, one of them being Clint Hill, who admitted that it was challenging to provide security to the president. In his statement, “President Kennedy liked to mingle with the citizens, and he disliked when someone comes between his people and him.” That day began as a normal presidential visit, although it was in the state where people had little enthusiasm for the president. He continued by saying, “Texas was an immensely conservative region and President Kennedy was never labeled a conservative leader in any way,” he explained. “Though there were no threats, no details were directed to us to think that there would be a major problem.”
While the president’s caravan was directing to Dealey Plaza, Clint was in the car just behind the president’s limo. “I heard a noise that seemed explosive on my right rear, the motorcade’s rare, I looked at the president grabbing his throat and moving to his left, and I figured something was not right,” he remembered, “the idea to get up on top made me jump and run towards the car the president was driving in. Unfortunately, by the time I was about to get into the vehicle, the third shot was already fired which got to the president’s head, which created a massive wound that caused brains, blood and other parts to explode out of the vehicle, onto his wife Mrs. Kennedy and myself.”
“The First Lady tried to retrieve some parts that came off the president’s skull and spilled to the right rear. I tried grabbing her to make her settle down at the seat,” he added. “I managed to do that and soon after President Kennedy fell over to his wife’s lap. I got up and laid on top of both of them, afterward, I decided to turn to give thumbs down to the vehicle that followed.” He continued, “That incident lasted less than one minute though it scared me for life.” Hill confided that he felt guilty and responsible since he was the only agent in a position to rescue the president.
President John F. Kennedy’s assassination made the whole nation to be shaken as well as the Secret Service. The limo he was driving on that fateful day in Texas is currently put on display in Dearborn Michigan at the Henry Ford museum. Later on, agent Clint Hill served three more presidents as a Secret Service agent, but he was overwhelmed with depression, mostly because he blamed himself for not getting at the back of the vehicle a minute sooner. He went ahead to retire from his position in the year 1975. Hill rarely speaks about the incident in Dallas, though in 2009, Lisa McCubbin, an author requested an interview from him for a potential book.
He did an interview in 1975 but was cut short due to a nervous breakdown that he had suffered on television and since then, he was secluded. But, later on, Clint alongside other agents agreed to open up in part to explain the effect of the assassination on them.
It is only possible to understand life backward, but it should and must be lived forwards. Of course, not any of the agents in Secret Service knew on the morning hours of the 22nd of November in Fort Worth, Texas, how their steps that day would be scrutinized for years. Not even one of them could have expected that each move they made that normal Friday would be something they would be called to account for second by second for their entire lives.
Farabaugh, K. (2013). Secret Service Agent Opens Up About JFK Assassination.
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