I remember exactly where I was 45 years ago today when I first heard that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. Everyone who had any awareness of JFK death on that day can tell you exactly where they were when they heard the news. The Ancient One was standing at the coffee pot on the 3rd floor of Caldwell Hall at the University of North Carolina where graduate students (his position in life at the time) and faculty gathered at various times during the day for caffeine and conversation.
This year there is additional depth to those memories. Kennedy was the first Catholic to be elected President. I remember the hope for a better future that he represented for many of us. This year Barack Obama as President-elect represents another first in the evolution of American political culture. And for the majority of us, he brings hope for significant changes in the role of the United States on the world stage as well as in this country.