As of this past Thursday, America’s greatest unsolved case turned 55. To this day, an amazing 80 percent of the population believes John F. Kennedy was not shot by a single gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald. Over these 55 years, conspiracists have blamed the CIA, Russia, Cuba, Lyndon Johnson, and the Easter Bunny. They have blamed everyone except one guy – the guy who still blames himself for the death of President Kennedy after all these years.
They were the eight seconds that changed the world. Former marine Lee Harvey Oswald leaned out of the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository Building and fired the three shots that took the life of a president and wounded the Texas governor.
Yes, for the sake of this article, we will dismiss the crazy theories and go with the evidence – Lee Harvey Oswald was the gunman that fateful day, November 22, 1963.
As a bullet blasted through the president’s neck, secret service agent Clint Hill was the first to respond. While others froze in the moment, the 31-year-old agent leaped from his car just behind the president’s and raced on foot toward the lead limousine.
Without a thought for his own safety, Clint jumped onto the back of the accelerating car, trying to create a human shield to protect the president and first lady.
But he was a few seconds too late. Before Clint Hill could scramble into position, another shot pierced Kennedy’s head, bringing a sudden and horrific end to the president’s life.
Last week, the now 86-year-old Hill lamented the event that is never far from his mind. And sadly, he still believes that he “should have been faster.” He blames himself for the president’s death.
Hill said, “One thing that I’ve never been able to erase from my mind is being on the back of the car looking down at the president, who was lying with his face in Mrs. Kennedy’s lap. The right side of his face is up and I can see that his eyes are fixed. There’s blood everywhere. I can see the gunshot wound. In the room that’s in the skull I can see that there is no more brain matter left.”
Hill concluded, “That is something I could never, and have never been able to, erase from my mind.”
Clint Hill is an American hero. But like all heroes, he looks back and says he could – and should – have done more.