For those who had not yet been born when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, the significance of the day is diminished but not lost.
Sitting with his father and brother-in-law at Shortys Place in Watertown, Robert H. Ryan, Waddington, said he hadnt given a lot of thought to JFKs death, although he had seen Parkland, a recent film dramatization of Kennedys assassination.
Mr. Ryan said one aspect that continues to interest him is the conspiracy theories that have been presented to explain the circumstances surrounding the presidents death. Despite his interest in the competing theories, Mr. Ryan said he believes the Warren Commission report is accurate.
I think it was pretty close, Mr. Ryan said of the official report, which stated that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the shooting.
At Jefferson Community College, a handful of students at the McVean Student Center said they hadnt thought much about President Kennedys assassination, given the length of time since it happened.
If I was alive then, Id care about it more, said Heather M. Moore, a freshman business major.
Several students interviewed said they didnt learn much about JFK or the assassination in school.
We talked about him as a president, not so much about the assassination, said Zachary T. Pitts, a freshman from Cazenovia.
Danielle M. White, a freshman from Pulaski, acknowledged that history wasnt her favorite subject, and that she and her high school classmates spent more time learning about the 9/11 attacks.
Christopher M. Klassen, a freshman from Fort Drum, said he remembers his grandmother talking about JFKs inspiration in the expansion of the U.S. space program.
Mr. Klassen said that he watched a documentary in April about the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln to mark the anniversary of his death, and that he would look for one about JFKs death this week.
As she checked the basement aisles of the Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library, Dana E. Kelly-Nieves, of Natural Bridge, said much of her knowledge came through her parents. She said her mother had mentioned the shock and horror her own parents had that fateful day.
People were panicking, Ms. Kelly-Nieves said.
Standing with her children Gabriel, 4, and Elijah, 5 months, Ms. Kelly-Nieves paused when she was asked how she would explain the anniversary of the assassination to her own children.
This was a very loved man, he was the leader of our country, she said. Something really terrible happened to him, and the nation mourned his loss.