Anniversary of Kennedy assassination brings crowds back to Dealey Plaza for quiet remembrance


Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) - Americans across the country and people around the world have been remembering in quiet sadness a young president gunned down 50 years ago.
In Dallas' Dealey Plaza, where John F. Kennedy was shot, Mayor Mike Rawlings presided over the city's first official commemoration of the assassination. Rawlings said "hope and hatred collided" in Dallas that day, but the city turned "civic heartbreak into hard work" and matured into a more tolerant, welcoming metropolis.
Historian David McCullough said Kennedy spoke to the country "with a vitality and sense of purpose" that inspired Americans to want to "make it a better world."
A plaque unveiled in Dealey Plaza contains the last paragraph of the speech Kennedy was set to have given on that day. In it, he notes that Americans are "watchmen on the walls of world freedom" and must strive to be worthy of that power and try to achieve peace.
President Barack Obama paid tribute in a meeting with Peace Corps volunteers and leaders. Kennedy is credited with establishing the Peace Corps, and volunteers are still shown a recruiting video he recorded from the Oval Office. More than 210,000 have served in the Peace Corps in 139 countries, and volunteers say Kennedy's call to show the world America's "best side" still resonates.