On November 22, 1963, a real American hero was murdered in cold blood. That hero's name was J. D. Tippit, a Dallas police officer. Sorry to blind side you all, I know you were all thinking I was referencing President Kennedy. This post is in no way an attempt to down play that tragic day. However, In the scuffle, the death of officer Tippit has almost been totally forgotten.
For those of you who have forgotten or never knew, officer Tippit was murdered by Lee Harvey Oswald during a routine traffic stop shortly after he shot and killed President Kennedy. Some of you may be conspiracy theorists but let that rest for now.
Officer Tippit was a fine church going man with a wife a three young kids. He was a decorated veteran of World War 2 and an eleven year veteran of the Dallas Police Force. Ordinarily, he'd have been working with a partner but on that day, everyone was on patrol by themselves because of the anticipation of the President's visit. Officer Tippit had stopped Oswald to question him and in a moment of carelessness, Oswald pulled a gun a shot him dead. It was because of this very action that he was shortly apprehended and eventually connected to Kennedy's assassination. There was bare mention of it except to say how Tippit's murder led to Oswald.
In the meantime, the media led the country in a mourn fest for the Kennedys. All about the President's kids, his wife his parents, his siblings, and his friends grieving. As I said in the beginning, I don't mean to minimize the grief we all felt at that time. It was very painful.
Unfortunately, we show by our coverage that in the real scheme of things, the average man on the street, is often considered collateral damage when a tragedy such as this occurs. How many of us can name the Secret Service agent who took a bullet for President Reagan? [Tim McCarthy if you didn't know!]
So here we are fifty years later and where are the questions for the Tippit kids who no doubt by now have grand kids? Is this not a painful day for them as well? I'm sure their mom feels pain. In fact, she was attending the ceremonies at the plaza today. Still, did anybody notice or even care?
To their credit, shortly after the Dallas tragedy, President Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and Jackie Kennedy sent their condolences to Marie Tippit. At one point, she even exchanged letters with Mrs. Kennedy. There was support from the common man as over $500,000 in donations came in to supplement the $250 per month policy but the media had little or no interest.
Now, as the country remembers the death of Kennedy, the family finds themselves again reliving their tragedy. The three kids have experienced a lifetime of grief from drugs to crime. The oldest, Allan is currently dying from cancer after a lifetime of struggle. Brenda keeps to herself and Curtis has little or no memory of his dad. Marie has been married and divorced twice.
Yes, I still get a sick feeling as I think about President Kennedy being killed. However, there was more than enough grief and sadness to cover for his family. In my opinion, the Tippit family didn't fair as well and I wanted to bring it to mind!
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