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Alumni react to the attacks:
Read their first-person accounts

 

Dawn Goodlove

 

Marguerite Which-ta-lum ’ 66,of Bellingham, Wash., was between classes when news broke that President Kennedy was shot. Word began spreading “like wildfire with students yelling to each other and running for the TVs in the dorm lounges,” she recalled.

In Pfeiffer Lounge the TV was hoisted up on a table so the crowd could see. “The outcome was not yet known. It was as if our collective heart had stopped and no one was breathing. Walter Cronkite was trying to relay the events in Dallas, then was handed a note, took off his glasses, wiped his eyes, and in a broken voice announced that President Kennedy was dead! It felt like our entire world had been shot in that moment. We held each other. We cried. Then several of us headed for Allee Chapel. I stayed there the rest of the day, crying and praying. Many others were there too.

“I remember a large service in King Chapel. But it was the many small gatherings of friends that went on for days where we could hash out all our fears, our theories, our tears, which helped us return to some kind of normalcy.

“We knew instantly that our entire world had been changed and we were completely helpless to do anything about it. We didn't know that we had also lost our innocence as a nation until much later.

“It’s interesting, it’s a similar loss now, isn't it, as we realize we can no longer take our safety for granted. And we can no longer bury our heads in the sand regarding how we are viewed by much of the Middle Eastern world.”

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