By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Region – Like so many millions of people around the globe, Worcester resident William Coleman III was devastated when John F. Kennedy Jr. was assassinated Nov. 22, 1963. Although he was just a child at the time, Goldman said he remembered that day when his school's principal made two announcements that day, first advising students that the president had been shot and then that he had died.
“I will never forget that day and the walk home,” he said. “All of the adults were crying. Hope was gone.”
As an adult, Coleman served as an assistant to former Sen. Edward Brooke and taught at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has also, he said, been a “community activist.”
Throughout his life, he added, he has always wondered what would have happened had Kennedy not been shot.
“It could have changed so much, like the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, and the women's rights movement,” he said.
Now, Coleman has embarked upon a journey to help others share their memories of Kennedy. He is personally traveling to 50 central Massachusetts communities to drop off a large card at local senior centers and libraries that residents can sign. Those cards will then be mailed to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston where they will be added to the archives.
In talking to people about this project, he has found so many, he said, that have “connections” to the late president.
“People have been very receptive to this,” he added. “They are thankful because they want to share their memories and how he affected their lives.”
The cards will be at the senior centers and libraries, including ones in Hudson, Marlborough, Northborough, Shrewsbury, Southborough, and Westborough, until approximately Friday, Dec. 20.