The flag flew at half mast at the State House on Friday as Vermonters remembered this somber day in 1963.
"I remember very clearly being in school and they made an announcement that President Kennedy had been shot and was killed," said Joan Fitzpatrick of Colchester. Fitzpatrick and her husband Ed say they share the same faith as the fallen President, so it made the loss especially painful.
"It was very, very tough. We were Irish Catholics in Burlington, so it was a big deal and it was very tough," Ed Fitzpatrick said.
Locals found different ways to honor the day when the President and a radiant Jackie Kennedy rode through Dealey Plaza in a 1961 Lincoln convertible. The ride would be cut short when shots rang out, taking the president's life and changing the country forever.
SUNY Plattsburgh's Symphonic Band prepared for a memorial concert that takes place Friday evening. "It's really important to honor JFK I think, and since it's the anniversary it's a great time to reflect on a president of our United States," said the band's James Donnelly.
SUNY Plattsburgh Music Director Daniel Gordon says choosing just the right pieces to honor Kennedy is not a task taken lightly. The band will play music to pay tribute to the late president, such as Leonard Bernstein's "Fanfare for the inauguration of John F. Kennedy." "I've always felt that when you choose the right music for the right event, that's when music is at it's most powerful. And this is the right music for this special event and I believe it's going to be very, very powerful," he said.
Joan Fitzpatrick remembers that on the day of Kennedy's death, the music didn't play for her. "I remember everybody being pretty stunned. We were supposed to have a music concert that night -- that was canceled and we were all sent home," she said.
Friday's SUNY Plattsburgh concert starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Giltz Auditorium in Hawkins Hall on campus.
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