Twelve years ago when 9/11 happened, I was only 11 years old. I remember that day exactly.

Since then I’ve heard so often that 9/11 is my generations “Kennedy Assassination Moment.” It’s imprinted in the minds of those old enough to remember.

President John F. Kennedy was fatally shot this day, 50 years ago, in 1963. Obviously I wasn’t around for it and no, I don’t have any magic bullet theories, but I have seen footage of it.

Quite recently on my mini-holiday to Michigan I visited the Henry Ford Museum (and Greenfield Village…oh my gosh, internet, if you’re into nerdy period villages with the real homes of Robert Frost, The Wright Brothers, and Albert Einstein…this place is for you. Ford bought famous people’s houses, uprooted them, and moved them to Greenfield Village to form his own private collection of famous places. It’s…amazing beyond words. Okay. End rant.)

One of the Ford Museum’s permanent exhibits is “Presidential Limousines” including, you guessed it, the midnight blue Lincoln JFK was riding in when he was shot.

Kassey Sikora

I’m not sure what it is about presidents and assassinations but this…….weird feeling of awe and reverence passed through me as I peaked inside. The same weird feeling that hit me a few years ago when I was in the Ford’s Theater museum in Washington D.C. standing in front of the suit Abraham Lincoln was wearing when he was also shot and killed in 1865.

Image via Ford’s Theater Website

It’s just…being THAT close to history. Pressing your nose up against the thin glass separating you from an artifact of an event that shaped history…it’s beyond words sometimes. If you ever wonder why I travel, internet, you now know it. It’s not to feel alive (although traveling by the seat of your pants is quite fun!) it’s to pay homage to a time that I wasn’t around for, but appreciate all the same.

That, I think, is one of the greatest missions in life.