On Nov. 22, it had been a half-century since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. On Nov. 23, 1963, as the nation mourned, my parents, Bill and Nancy Bonenberger, were married at St. Rosalia Catholic Church in Greenfield. A grievous shadow hung over what should for them have been a most happy day.
Anyone old enough to remember can tell you exactly where they were the moment they heard that President Kennedy had been shot. I wasn’t born at the time but being Catholic and given my parents’ anniversary date, I grew up hearing about the legacy of John F. Kennedy. My family kept a commemorative coin in our home with a portrait of the president emblazoned with the words, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”
Maybe it’s their anniversary date. Perhaps it has had something to do with their Catholicism, but my parents took this adage to heart. To paraphrase, they did not ask what their family, neighbors, community or church could do for them. They asked what they could do for others. My parents have been of service to their own parents and family, to their Greenfield neighbors, to St. Rosalia Church and to one another for 50 years. I would like to thank them for serving as an example of one way in which it is possible to live out President Kennedy’s challenge to a nation.
Congratulations, Mom and Dad, on your 50th wedding anniversary.