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Coward

On the list of famous Texans, in addition to the good guys, there are a few low life bottom feeders. Today’s entry on Three States Plus One is about one of the bottom feeders. The man we’ll talk about today was once a member of one of our country’s most revered institutions, the United States Marine Corp. Something then happened and this man went from being in service to his country to betraying it by renouncing his US citizenship and applying for citizen status in the Soviet Union. In short, he was a coward and a traitor. This young man of a mere 24 years, then committed one of the most horrific crimes this country had seen up to that point. He murdered the President of the United States of America. Now you know who I am talking about. Lee Harvey Oswald.

I personally know the man who took Oswald to work on that fateful day in November of 1963. His name was Bill. I won’t give Bill’s last name for obvious reasons. At the time, Bill lived down the block from Oswald and just across the street from one of the elementary schools I would later attend when I moved to Irving. When Bill picked up Oswald to head off to work that fateful morning, Lee was carrying a long, paper wrapped object. The story goes something like this:

Bill: What do you got there, Lee?
Oswald: Curtain rods.
Bill: OK, let’s get to work.
          End of Coversation

Bill would later learn, just like the rest of us, that the man he drove to work on November 22, 1963 murdered the President of the United States and severely wounded the Governor of Texas. Then, just two days later in the basement of the Dallas Police Department while being escorted to the Dallas County Jail, Oswald himself was shot to death by a local night club owner, Jack Ruby. Oswald had declared himself to be “a patsy” in a grand conspiracy in the assassination of John Kennedy, and when he was gunned down by Jack Ruby, the conspiracy theories began and haven’t slowed down over the last 47 years.

While Lee Harvey Oswald has secured a place in History, he also has a reserved place in Hell for not only crimes (sins) against God, but for the crime he perpetrated against a whole nation when he killed JFK. From my point of view, the United States grew up that day in 1963, thanks to Lee Harvey Oswald. At that time, we were just a few years past the time of Leave It to Beaver and  I Love Lucy. An innocence was taken from us all on November 22, 1963 and it was taken from us by a coward of man who, had he stood trial for murdering the President, would have received no mercy from a jury of his peers. But that was taken from us, too, when Jack Ruby killed Oswald. The country as a whole got no closure from events of that day in Dallas. We did, however, learn about the “Grassy Knoll” and a thousand other conspiracy-related “evidence”.

So there you have it. A brief look at a small, small man who set an entire nation to grieve the death of a young, vibrant President and the end of this country’s innocence. Lee Harvey Oswald, murderer, traitor, coward. Rot. In. Hell.

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