PHOTOS: When I Visited The Site of JFK’s Assassination in Dallas, I Was Appalled By What I Saw Visitors Doing
On my recent trips to Dallas, one of the sites I wanted to see was Dealey plaza where John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. It was a very somber moment for me as I witnessed where one of the greatest tragedies in American history occurred. Unfortunately, JFK's life and legacy was not respected by several tourists I saw there.
Dealey Plaza was reconstructed in 2008 to look as close as possible to the way it looked on that tragic day in November of 1963 when President Kennedy was shot and killed as his motorcade moved through the plaza. Visitors today get to almost step back in time and see what it was like that day by viewing the plaza in person and going through the museum on the sixth floor of the former Texas School Book Depository, learning about JFK's presidency.
You aren't allowed to take photos on the sixth floor where the shooting allegedly took place, but you can take them one floor above. This is the view from the seventh floor, and approximately what the shooter saw on that day.
You'll notice two X's on the pavement of Elm Street. They are not official markings from the City of Dallas, but if they are ever paved over or removed, they reappear within days, placed there by people to mark the two approximate locations where Kennedy was shot. The X in the lower part of the photo marking the first shot and the upper X marking the location of the second and fatal shot.
When I was on the ground viewing these locations I couldn't believe what I saw people doing.
Tourists were actually running quickly out into the road to get their picture taken standing on the X. the very place where President Kennedy died. They would smile, wave, or even give a thumbs up while holding a replica newspaper from that day sold by street vendors for $5.
I couldn't believe it. Not only was it disrespectful, like dancing on someone's grave, it was also dangerous. Elm is a busy street, and one person even got honked at as traffic got the green light at the intersection and the disrespectful tourist hadn't moved when they got to him.
I just don't understand this. This is a piece of history that is set up for people to be learn what happened here and these people were treating it like an amusement park. I wanted to say something, but there were so many people doing it that I know my opinion would be in the minority. Am I wrong to think this way?
If you ever make it to Dallas, I highly recommend you visit Dealey Plaza and tour the museum, but please have some respect and stay off the X's.
Here are some photos I took during my visit.