22 November 2013

My close encounter with JFK

Today is a sad anniversary - 50 years since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

On this anniversary, I recall the time I happened to come face-to-face with JFK, while he was in the White House and I was barely in kindergarten.

My family was taking the standard White House tour, when we came to a room with a curtain blocking the entrance. The guide indicated that the president was in a meeting behind that curtain.

Being a curious child, and standing very near one end of the curtain, I pulled the corner back slightly and peeked in. The president noticed me - a little girl Caroline's age - and he smiled and waved.

He radiated friendliness and charm. That day, he became my first crush.

I will never forget that brief moment when I learned at a very young age that great people are human and can be so down-to-earth.

And I think that lesson emboldens me in my human rights work today.

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