Dallas (CNN) — Five decades after it served as the backdrop for a nation’s grief and disbelief, Dallas’ Dealey Plaza took center stage once again Friday as Americans commemorated the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
“A new era dawned and another waned a half century ago when hope and hatred collided right here in Dallas,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said in his remarks commemorating Kennedy’s death.
Rawlings then read the final words of the speech Kennedy was to deliver that day. That was followed by a moment of silence at 12:30 p.m., the time Kennedy was shot a few feet from where Rawlings spoke.
Bells tolled, and after a brief pause, cadets from the Naval Academy sang “America the Beautiful.” Historian David McCullough read excerpts from famous Kennedy speeches.