Lest We Forget - African American Military History by Researcher, 
				Author and Veteran Bennie McRae, Jr.

And the Heavens Wept

By Thurman W. Adams
©2002 Thurman W. Adams


On November twenty-first, nineteen hundred and sixty-three,
the President of the United States of America flew to Texas; to become part of the darkest chapters in our history. 
He was the first President of the United States of America to the twentieth century to be born, 
and he held steadfast through this all though his body, from war, was painfully worn. 
He and his regal First Lady boarded Air Force One
and flew to a land divided by hatred, prejudice and scorn.
On Friday, November twenty-second, he entered Dallas, Texas, a town with many citizens, deadly deranged.
He was told not to worry, for he was very safe, in peaceful Dallas, so hospitable, down home on the range. 
In the open top limousine was our President, his Lady, along with the Governor of Texas and his wife,
they would ride into one of the darkest chapters of American history, by witnessing the sacrifice of the President's life. 
Dallas was no ordinary American city; some of its citizens, reeking with vile hate, 
but John Fitzgerald Kennedy did not shirk his duty, it being his fate.
How is it, a city like Dallas can turn into something straight from hell, 
and nurture assassins, so evil and able to shoot so very well?
Lee Harvey Oswald might have pulled the trigger, but Dallas produced the crime.
The rest of the world watched and listened in horror and revulsion, but Dallas was smug in its prime. 
How could some, in this American city, be totally in league with the devil,
saying it wasn't their fault, pointing their fingers at a young man with a dfle on a building's sixth floor level? 
The only thing de-scent men could do was to gather their fallen leader and his stoic wife, 
for she wore her red badge of courage, her husband's crimson blood of life.
Aboard Air Force One, they fled back Northeast, far away from that murderous city in the Lone Star State,
for some in Dallas had made it America's capital of bigotry and hate.
John Kennedy was so far better than these back West, and to leave a drop of his blood there, was a sin. 
As the world watched in disgust, pity, amazement and disbelief, there was now no way we could win.
Air Force One arrived back in the dark gloom of Andrews Field, in Washington, a hearse out of the black sky, 
as far away as possible from that heinous place President John F. Kennedy had to die.
Our nation's and the world's hearts broke when we saw Jacqueline Kennedy departing the plane, broken but bold, 
wearing that pink dress with her husband's and our nation's martyr's dark red blood, a badge of honor, so cold. 
And the heartbroken angels in heaven could no longer withstand the pain, which they themselves had kept, 
and the stars fell from the sky and the heavens wept.


Saturday morning, November twenty-third, nineteen hundred and sixty-three dawned cloudy, dismal, with rain,
trying to mask the tragedy of the day before, the assassination in Dallas, and the world's mental anguish and pain. 
The symbol of our suffering we would see this day, were flags around the world at half mast and one on a coffin.
At the White House in Washington, the American flag, half way up its pole, was a reminder that weekend, so often. 
Anyone with access to radio or television, became unwilling witnesses to America's dark chapter of history. 
We could not escape this deathly dark depression even if we tried, for the heavens had willed it to be.
Outside, away for all communication and sound, we could not even there get away, for the heavens wept rain,
and somehow it seemed fitting, for what some Americans had done to our President, we should pay for it with pain. 
The grief of the world seemed contagious, affecting each one differently, but affecting ail of those around. 
If anyone said it was of no matter to them, the only explanation could be, their mental state wasn't sound.
The leadership of only two countries, the Peoples Republic of China and Cuba, acted with indifference or glee, 
but if you could have been able to talk to their country's common man, they were in mourning the same as we.
Like most Americans that day, we sat glued to the television watching a steady stream of black cars come and go, 
transporting our government officials and foreign dignitaries to the White House, their sympathy to us they did show. 
Almost all of the mourners' grief was genuine, through their eyes the tears did well and flow, but there were some 
from southern American states, who hated Kennedy, those hypocrites, only for the show did they greedily come.
As so many came to the White House were thirty-three American Presidents before had lived, here all would see,
the flag draped coffin, on Abraham Lincoln's wooden bier, here they saw the American crime, each one would agree. 
Sunday, November twenty-fourth, nineteen hundred and sixty-three, dawned sunny and clear, for a job had to be done. 
John Kennedy would leave from inside his house for the very last time; we cried when the coffin came out into the sun. 
His trip would be short, just down the street, to lie under the dome of the Capitol, for all common men to come and see. 
A short ceremony was held, speeches made, a wreath from the nation laid, but one more thing forever with us would be. 
As the widowed First Lady wanted to say a last farewell, an incident would take place and it befell all that would see.
As she went to the coffin, with her daughter beside her, they knelt and said goodbye to husband and father, now free. 
Not wanting to leave, wanting to do just one thing more, they both kissed the flag on the coffin of the one they did love. 
As daughter, Caroline, gave her father his last kiss, to be closest to him, under the flag went her hand in its white glove. 
As the dignitaries all left and stumbled into the sun, everyday Americans started past the casket in single file,
and this went on until the next day, and when the Capitol doors finally closed, there was still a line for many a mile. 
Consumed with our grief for John Kennedy, his family and nation, along comes another Texas murder sensation. 
Oswald's life, Jack Ruby would take, the world's first life television murder, and of all places, in a Dallas police station. 
The whole world, shocked and astonished, started to think of some parts of Texas as a state of assassins and killers, 
and the written history of Texas for that weekend of November, would be more horrific than most Hitchcock thrillers. 
And the heartbroken angels in heaven could no longer withstand the pain, which they themselves had kept, 
and the stars fell from the sky and the heavens wept.


Monday, November twenty-fifth, nineteen hundred and sixty-three, dawned sunny, bright and clear,
a Presidential proclamation making it a National Day of Mourning, for a fallen President, loved and dear. 
The nations colors, atop the casket, were a painful reminder of the future we had lost,
and what would the world have been like; for we will never know, this being our unfathomable cost.
The body of our fallen President was taken from the Capitol rotunda, by military men, knowing so well,
that this would be the final day they would ever serve their President, the booming cannons did foretell.
They carried him from the Capitol to the White House, there to meet his wife, to St. Matthews, they strolled. 
When he left the House, his lady followed behind him, along with a hundred world leaders, the young and old. 
Never before had so many leaders of so many lands, had gathered together to honor a fallen man.
No one had ever comprehended the love and respect he had from the world, still now no one ever can.
At St. Matthews, the funeral service was held, then over and a last time the President, outside was brought, 
Hail to the Chief was played, as he was saluted by his son John, never before were so many tears fought. 
Across the bridge on the Potomac, through Arlington Cemetery's gate and up the grassy hill,
the President finally arrived below Custis-Lee Mansion to the hole in the ground, his casket would fill. 
Words were said, a flame was lit, planes flew by, guns were fired, taps played and the mourners left,
to go back to their lands and homes, all feeling the loss, totally hopeless, broken hearted and so bereft. 
It has been almost forty years now, since John F. Kennedy was laid on the side of that Virginia hill,
and each year hundreds of thousands of people, each year more than last, come to this spot and always will. 
John F. Kennedy had become the hope of the future to all men, women and children from all different lands, 
and now he had been taken from us, like the sands of time slipping through the fingers of our empty hands. 
We never knew how fortunate we were until we lost the one thing which our nation could never replace, 
and to prove this true, all one had to do, was to look on the average Americans' grief stricken face. 
How could one city give safe harbor to so much hate for only one misguided demented man,
for they had killed our President, a husband, a father, a brother, a son, the beloved leader of our land. 
Oh, the people of Dallas and similar other towns would say they had nothing to do with it,
for it was only the solitary act of one disturbed and misguided young man, in a homicidal fit. 
But assassinations, in America, don't just happen and not by one lonely soul,
for they are the fruits of an environment of evil and hatred, and a group as a whole.
Fifteen years later, the U. S. House of Representatives would investigate the Warren Commission report, 
and concluded John Kennedy "was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy" was their retort. 
Now that all of this has been said and done, what would the world be like today if Kennedy had lived?
I, like millions of others, would have liked to have him here still and for him, our lives we would gladly give. 
And the heartbroken angels in heaven could no longer Withstand the pain, which they themselves had kept, 
and the stars fell from the sky and the heavens wept.

Category: Kennedy Assassination | Subcategory: Peoms by Thurman W. Adams | Tags: Thurman W. Adams , Radio , Virginia , Texas , Washington
Related Topics / Keywords / Phrases: 2002, Abraham Lincoln, Adam, Andrews, Angel, Ark, Arlington, China, Dallas, GE, Jack, John, Old, television, Texas, Virginia, Warren,