Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings is asking the entire nation to join Dallas in a moment of silence November 22n , 2013 at 12:30pm. That's when Dallas will go silent, then hold its memorial of the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas.
Mayor Rawlings says nearly a half century later, Kennedy’s assassination lives with us still, especially for those old enough to remember the tragic events of November 22, 1963.
"His death forever marked our city. But his life changed the world. The entire country and world will be looking on Dallas this time next year. November 22, 2013."
Rawlings says that’s why the memorial’s tone will be extremely important.
"We want to mark this day by remembering a great president with a sense of dignity and honor he deserves. The 50th will be a serious, respectful and understated public memorial," Rawlings said.
Bells across Dallas will ring five minutes prior to the moment of silence. In Dealey Plaza, the site of the assassination, thousands of citizens are expected in the free, ticketed event. Video screens will be assembled for the crowds farther away.
Pulitzer prize-winning historian David McCullough will speak and offer quotes from President Kennedy. Dallas schools will spend the day teaching about Kennedy and his request asking citizens to give back to their nation. Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk, now the U.S. Trade Representative, says it’s wise the city and county are taking control of this event. He says the whole world will be watching.
"Like it or not, this is inseparable from our history. Particularly I think shaping Dallas for the better after the tragic events because it forced us into a level of retrospection that we might not otherwise have experienced, and I think we’ve become a much more wholesome community," Kirk said. In honor of President Kennedy’s World War II Navy service as a PT boat commander, the Navy chorus will sing several selections. The 45-minute memorial will end with a military flyover.