During our visit last week to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, we visited the Sixth Floor Museum in the book depository in downtown Dallas. The museum is dedicated to a rather grim event — the assassination of John F. Kennedy. We arrived before opening and were expecting to be two of just a handful of visitors. We were wrong. The vestibule was crowded and getting more full as opening time approached. The loss of this man and the mysteries and theories surrounding his death seemed to have universal appeal. In the group around us, we heard soft conversations in Spanish, Portuguese and German.
The museum was both somber and informative, with the specter of Kennedy’s death relieved by videos and displays dedicated to the life of this vibrant president and his family.
Outside, people wandered the grassy knoll and around Dealey Plaza. A couple of shade tree assassination experts hawked tip sheets and gave impromptu tours. In the street, a half-erased white X purportedly pointed out the spot where there the fatal shot found its mark. And there was the most disturbing sight, watching tourists take turns running into the street, dodging cars, and taking selfies or photos of each other, smiling and waving where the president drew his last breath.