“I'm an idealist without illusions.”
-- John F. Kennedy
Time passes more quickly as we age, or it sure feels that way. By 10, I knew who John Kennedy was and his death seemed so long ago, yet it had only been 15 years after his death. Thirty-five years have flown by since I first heard of the 20th century's most inspiring US president and today marks the 50th anniversary that awful time.
Barack Obama is the only president in my lifetime who has made me feel how those who heard Kennedy must have felt. Yet few can say they are as excited five years on. It's not that he's been a bad president. It's just that no one can keep themselves -- or us -- up there for that long.
At 46, Kennedy had the good fortune, if you could ever call it that, of leaving us in mid-flight, before time could ravage him as it has all of his successors, and the rest of us. Time flies but it also eventually wrenches us back to earth.
We all wish Kennedy had lived. But I suspect we wouldn't be looking up to him the way we do if he had.