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January 15, 2007
From journal A Day or Two in Dallas/Ft. Worth
July 22, 2001
The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial Plaza was built to honor the late US president, assassinated in Dallas on November 22, 1963. The memorial is plain, simple, and unassuming by design at the request of the family. Although the memorial looks like a tomb, it is not (Kennedy is buried at Arlington Cemetary near Washington DC). It was designed by architect Philip Johnson.
The memorial is a white concrete square structure, with an open roof that is about thirty feet tall, and fifty feet square. It is entered on the north side of the memorial up a short walk. Inside, there is a black granite square with name John Fitzgerald Kennedy carved in it, which are the only words in the entire memorial. Outside, the square the memorial is on is surrounded by trees. On the afternoon of our visit, we saw and spoke with Dallas Police Officers mounted on horseback that were cooling off in the shade of the trees.
Although local Dallas government officials began planning the memorial just after Kennedy's death, the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial Plaza was not dedicated until June 24, 1970 (almost seven years after his death) due to politics and other public works projects.
However modest, a visit is guaranteed to be a sobering reminder of Kennedy's assassination, death, and long investigation. The general public's interpretation of the design of the memorial is said to be often misunderstood, and as more and more people visited looking for information or answers, it created a need that resulted in the creation of The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. The Sixth Floor Museum now manages the memorial.
The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial Plaza is located at Main and Market Streets in downtown Dallas, near the spot that he was shot and killed in November 1963. It is also near Dealey Plaza and the Sixth Floor Museum, which is the former School Book Respository, when he was shot from. It is within eyeshot of Reunion Tower, and "Old Red" (the old Dallas Courthouse next door), and easy walking distance to other attractions.
From journal Things to see in Dallas