Nov. 22 - Attendees of Dallas' first ever memorial commemorating the day John F. Kennedy was slain in that city remember that fateful day. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Dallas observed the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination with its first official memorial on Friday, as the rest of the nation paused to remember the event that changed history. The ceremony started at 11:30 a.m. local time, to coincide with the time that Kennedy's motorcade had passed through packed downtown streets 50 years ago. Only 5,000 people were able to view ceremonies in Dealey Plaza but video screens were set up throughout downtown. Ticket holders braved the cold and the rain to stand in line to enter Dealey Plaza, the site of the assassination, and to pay their respects. "I was nine years old at the time this happened and 50 years later I am able to be here and reminisce the whole thing all over again. I am really excited about it, been looking forward to it for quite some time, ever since it's been announced," said Mike Vanarsdeo, an attendee from Dallas. Some said Kennedy inspired them. "Because of John F. Kennedy, he's one of the reasons I wanted to be a science teacher and studied so much on space and everything, because of growing up with him saying we were going to the moon and all of the examples we had. It was great," said attendee Kathy Dumbravo. Attendees wondered whether America would have been different if Kennedy's life had not been cut short by the bullet of an assassin. "Well, JFK was such a mover in our civil rights. I think that might have moved a little faster than it did, but - it's a shame he didn't get to live his full life," said attendee Detra Jones. Kennedy was remembered with prayers, and a speech by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. Dallas was seen as a pariah city for years after the November 22, 1963, assassination, and avoided any commemoration. That stigma started to fade decades aga and today The Sixth Floor Museum in the former Texas School Book Depository is one of the city's largest tourists attractions.