As a child we lived in Washington, DC. One of the perks of living in and going to school in our nation's capital was the privilege of taking field trips to the various government buildings downtown. For me, early in 1963 that meant my class was taken to visit what is probably one of the most famous and prominent government buildings in America, The White House.
I remember being shown several rooms including the Red Room, the Blue Room and others. The tour guide even pulled the fabric back from one of the walls to reveal burn damage from when the building had been set afire in the 1800's.
At a certain point during the tour, we were escorted down a long beautiful hallway on the first floor. The area where we were was cordoned off by a long thick red rope. On the other side of the rope were two small children. Our teacher pointed them out.
Watching us watch them were the nation's two "first children", John John and Caroline Kennedy. Again, this was early in 1963, just months before the assassination of President Kennedy. That's one of those surreal memories from the heart of an 8 year old child.
Today, we celebrate the 100th birthday of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and his legacy of strength, hope and freedom. JFK was a symbol of the shining beacon of America foreseen so many years earlier by our nation's forefathers.