November 23, 1963
El Paso Times
El Paso’s leaders, civic and church, were stunned and shocked at the assassination of President John F. Kennedy Friday.
Most of them found it hard to believe that the assassination had taken place. El Paso Mayor Judson Williams said: “It is a hard thing to put into words. It is an indescribable tragedy, a shock to think that it could happen in the United States. The loss to the U.S. is irreparable, regardless of political differences. It is hard to phrase your feelings at a time like this.”
Retired U.S. District Judge R.E. Thomason, who sat next to Kennedy when he was a young congressman was sworn into the House for the first time, said he was shocked and stunned and “I do not know what to say.” “He was a most able man and great leader. It is not only a national tragedy, but a world one. He was a great friend of the people I do not have words to express my shock.” Judge Thomason recently received an autographed picture from the President.
County Judge Glen Woodard said, “To my way of thinking. John F. Kennedy was one of the greatest presidents in history.” “I worked with him, and I worked for him. I had the pleasure to meet him personally.
GREAT LOSS – “This cowardly murder caused a great loss to the world, to the nation and to millions of us as individuals. Those who personally attacked President, verbally and now physically, confused the man with the great office of President of the United States,” Woodard said.
County Democratic Chairman Richard C. White was en route to Austin for a dinner honoring the President Friday night when the assassination took place. Mrs. White said she hoped to hear from her husband soon.
“I am so proud of El Paso because of the humanity shown by scheduling church services for the President. It shows the warmness of the hearts of El Pasoans. “I have been sitting in front of the television set crying all morning since this happened,” Mrs. White said.
Alan Rash, El Paso County Republican Chairman said: “As any American citizen, this is shocking and incomprehensible to me. All Republicans in this County join with the family of President Kennedy and the rest of the nation in showing their sorrow.
“He was our President, too, and in such capacity we would have followed his leadership even though we disagreed with his politics,” Rash said.
State Sen. Frank Owen III, who had to cancel a dinner engagement in which President Kennedy spoke, said “I am personally grieved,” “My words are inadequate compared to those that others in the nation and the world have already said.
“It is something that is most unfortunate and insane thing. I learned about the President’s death through a service station attendant who was delivering my wife’s car,” he said and sick and in bed for a week, said Owen. “I would not call myself a close friend of his, but I met him and talked with him many times, I respected him a great deal. It is a terrible tragedy for the whole world.” Sen. Owen expressed he was concerned about Gov. John Conally, “who is a personal and very close friend of mine.”
DEEPLY GRIEVED – State Rep. Maud Isacks said, “I am deeply grieved. I am shocked and grieved. Words can not express my feelings.”
The most Rev. S.M. Metzger bishop of El Paso Diocese said: “President Kennedy was felled Friday by the bullet of an assassin. This is a tragedy which will shock the world and is a deep sorrow for all Americans, even for those who did not agree with the President’s political philosophy. We pray for the President who is gone, and also pray for President Johnson, in order that God may lighten his heavy burdens.
Charles Gibson, district committeeman for the Republican Party, expressed “shock at the great tragedy. He was my President. I may have differed with his political views, but he was still a fellow American. People differ, but they still have great respect for each other. I think it is a great tragedy that our president met death in that way,” he said.
Justin Ormsby, of Northeast El Paso Democratic Club, issued this statement: “The world, and especially the United States, has lost, one of the most dynamic and dedicated of its citizens by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. History books of the future will reveal the greatness and the untimely end of this great figure.”
State Rep. John F. Ned Blaine, was in Austin to attend the dinner that had been scheduled in honor of Kennedy.
County Commissioner Tom May said: “This is the most awful thing that has happened in American life. It is the same thing as spitting on the American flog. I am concerned with how we can explain to the younger generation why and how this happened. “It is a most horrible experience any person believing in America and the American flag can have in a lifetime.”
Commissioner Rogelio Sanchez said the assassination of President Kennedy was a big blow to the American people and to the world. “I am terribly ashamed that it happened in this great state, after the President and Mrs. Kennedy traveled to Europe, Latin America and other countries without incident. I am deeply, deeply hurt over the President’s death,” he said.
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