Washington, Nov 23 As Americans remembered the tragic assassination of charismatic John F. Kennedy fifty years ago, President Barack Obama, who was just two then, said “thankfully” his own safety does not weigh heavily on his mind.
“It’s not something I think about,” Obama told ABC in an interview set to air in full next Friday. “Mainly, because we’ve got a Secret Service that does such an outstanding job every single day.”
“Obviously, tragedy reshaped the Secret Service in many ways, but they do an outstanding job, and it’s, thankfully, not something that I spend a lot of time thinking about.”
“When you think about the legacy of the Kennedy family, it has been part of all of modern American history, and it’s been an incredible legacy, but JFK in particular, I think, captured the idealism, the ability to imagine and remake America to meets its ideals, in a way we haven’t seen before or since,” Obama said.
Obama’s remarks came as Americans remembered the traumatic event with Dallas’ Dealey Plaza close to the spot where Kennedy was shot taking center stage once again Friday.
Bells tolled, and after a brief pause, cadets from the Naval Academy sang “America the Beautiful.” Historian David McCullough read excerpts from famous Kennedy speeches, CNN reported.
A new JFK monument also was unveiled, in the infamous section of land known as the “grassy knoll.” The inscription on the monument was the final paragraph of the speech JFK intended to deliver at the Dallas Trade Mart on Nov 22, 1963.
A series of commemorations marked the day Friday, including wreath-laying events in Kennedy’s home town of Boston and at his Arlington National Cemetery gravesite.
In Washington, where flags flew at half-staff over the Capitol and White House, Kennedy’s last living sibling, Jean Kennedy Smith, participated in the Arlington wreath-laying. Earlier, Attorney General Eric Holder visited the gravesite.
Moments of silence were also held at various other locations around the nation.
A CNN/ORC International survey indicates that 90 percent of all Americans approve of how Kennedy handled his job as President – an approval rating higher than any other president of the last half century.
But Americans remain at odds as to whether a greater conspiracy surrounds the murder of the 35th president. One-third of Americans believe the CIA was part of a plot to kill JFK and 30 percent believe the Mafia had its hand in Kennedy’s death.
As many as 21 percent of Americans believe Kennedy’s vice president Lyndon Baines Johnson- and successor – played a role in his death.