Saturday, December 3, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History: Historical Events

The prompt for Week 49 of 52 Weeks of Personal History & Genealogy, by Amy Coffin of We Tree, and hosted by Geneabloggers, is: Historical Events.

Describe a memorable national historical event from your childhood. How old were you and how did you process this event? How did it affect your family?

A national event that touched my family was the death of President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy's youngest son, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy. Patrick Bouvier Kennedy was born on August 7, 1963 at the hospital at the Otis Air Force Base in Bourne, Massachusetts. He was born prematurely, and soon he was transferred to Boston Children's Hospital. On August 9, 1963, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy died as a result of respiratory distress syndrome. He was buried at Holyhood Cemetery in Brookline, Massachusetts, but later was re-interred, along with another infant who was stillborn, at Arlington National Cemetery. Sadly, President Kennedy would be killed on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas.

The reason the loss of Patrick Bouvier Kennedy affected my family was that my parents had five children under the age of 12 in August of 1963. I was just about to enter the sixth grade at that time. Even though our family was large, my parents loved each of us, and appreciated our individual personalities.

I knew how much I cherished my younger brothers and sisters, and I thought about how sad it must be for the entire Kennedy family to lose Patrick in infancy. Mom and I sent Mrs. Kennedy a sympathy card, and remembered her in our prayers. All families suffer losses, but the Kennedy family sorrows were so public, and were covered by the media across the nation and the world. My family, along with the rest of the nation, were deeply saddened by the deaths of Patrick Bouvier Kennedy and President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

Photo credits:
Image of Kennedy Family from Life Magazine, April 26, 1963, page 26, via Google Books

Image of graves of Patrick Bouvier Kennedy and President John F. Kennedy, Arlington National Cemetery, from Wikipedia Commons


Nancy said...

I had forgotten about Patrick's death and that it happened just months before JFK was killed. Jackie was such a strong woman.

Dorene from Ohio said...

It was such a sad time in history...I surely agree that Jackie was a strong woman!