Comments from Facebook are edited for clarity and grammar:
Every time I see footage of John F. Kennedy or Martin Luther King Jr., I realize how vastly different our world would have been had they survived to fulfill their destiny to lead. The people who took those lives cheated the entire human race out of peace and prosperity. What do we have in its place? Corrupted leadership and a barely functioning government.
Very rarely in history does a leader emerge to draw the people forward. Kennedy and King were such leaders.
— Cynthia Rouse
It was a sad day in America. Our nation was never the same after that November afternoon.
— Austin Frederick
JFK's death does seem to mark a time when our country changed its path from young and strong toward the weak and divided state that partisan politics has caused.
— Bruce Mort
JFK made people feel good about themselves.
— David Robinson
It used to be the case that most people recalled where they were when they heard the fateful news that day in November 1963. But you have to be about 55 or older to recall that event today.
Many Americans weren't even born yet. It's just a footnote in American history to them, like the assassinations of Abraham Lincoln and William McKinley are.
— James VanTrees
Letter to the editor:
Many articles are commemorating the half-century since John F. Kennedy's death, which jolted America and the world. I was born 22 days later at a Wichita hospital.
I read a transcript of then-Sen. John Kennedy's speech at Lawrence Stadium on Oct. 22, 1960. The speech was tailor-made for the ears of Wichitans, and indeed all Americans. He told farmers he had optimism that they could do better than face red ink or just break even. He told the crowd: "Everything that you deal with in this state is tied up with our position in the world." Before his speech ended, JFK urged that America needs "vigor" and a sense of motion to fulfill its goals.
As we mark JFK's death, we have a young president, but we have a dysfunctional Congress and a polarized citizenry. We have an economy that is stalled. I wish Kennedy were still around to inspire us. We need "a sense of motion" in all of America today.
James A. Marples; Longview, Texas