Palestine resident Jerry W. Fetcher, 70, also remembers where he was on Nov. 22, 1963. He had enlisted in the Air Force in October 1961. After basic training, he was assigned to Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, 7th Transportation Squadron. His job was to be a motor pool driver.
“On the 22nd of November, 1963, I was assigned to drive a USAF step-van to Dallas and deliver President Kennedy's rocking chair to Market Hall prior to his arrival. There were Secret Service agents aboard as we entered Dallas,” Fetcher recalled. “We were met by the Dallas police motorcycle officers to escort us to Market Hall.”
At a stop light in downtown Dallas, the motorcycle officer motioned the agent to open the door.
“The agent opened the door and inquired if there was a problem. The Dallas officer then informed him that he had just been informed on the radio that President Kennedy had been shot. I was instructed to proceed through downtown Dallas with my escort to Market Hall to pick up the Presidential Seal.”
The motorcycle officer told him to follow his lead.
“I did and we went through downtown at 60 mph — a very scary trip for a 20-year-old,” Fetcher said. “We picked up the seal and returned to Carswell with the seal and chair, where I was relieved of my duty and returned to the motor pool.”
It was at the motor pool where he learned that Kennedy had died at Parkland Memorial Hospital.
“Because of this experience, I will always remember where I was when President Kennedy was killed,” Fetcher said. “It was a very exciting time of my life.”
Read more memories from area residents about where they were and what they were doing on that infamous day in 1963 on the Herald-Press Facebook page at www.facebook.com/palestineheraldpress