(Originaly posted August 30, 2007)
1968, like a middle child, rests uncomfortably between the two greatest years of the most wonderful time of my life.
If 1967 was the summer of love, 1968 was the spring of death. Beginning with the assassination of Civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Junior in April, the horror continued with the slaying of Robert Kennedy in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, exactly two months after Dr King was killed.
When I try to explain these events to my younger friends like Saltwater Tibs and the ever lovely Susie Chambers, words fail me. I know they have their own tortures to deal with in their own ways, but I don't think they can ever grasp what it was like to know that people, including young people their age, were being killed for having an opinion that was contrary to that of the "Establishment." Not in Communist Russia, nor Red China, but in North America.
I recently wandered back to that front step where I sat in 1967, listening to my pocket radio. As I sat there, it was easy to remember the way it felt that evening forty years ago... I could once again hear the music that was popular at that time, thanks to a new device known as an MP-3 player. :-) I could also feel optimistic again. For a moment I allowed myself to believe that love and peace could one day be a reality. While I cannot condone war, I can remember those who died to bring attention to the atrocities that war brings. Martin and Bobbie, your message got through, you will not be forgotten.