AND THE HEAVENS WEPT
PART 2 - LYING IN STATE
By Thurman W. Adams
©2002. Thurman W. Adams
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.
FORWARD TOAND THE HEAVENS WEPT - PART 3