The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

November 22, 2013

Clintonians share their memories of Nov. 22, 1963


As she approached the house under grey skies through drizzle, she saw something strange — her mother, Ella Heisterkamp, past-president of the American Legion, was hanging the flag at half staff.

"She always hung the flag out but not in this kind of weather," she said. "Then it hit me that something very bad had happened."

Soesbe also said the events of the days following the shooting are etched in his memory. He remembers walking out of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Clinton on the following Sunday to the news that the suspected killer was dead as well.

"That Sunday morning, Vinnie Frett said after church that Oswald's been shot," he said. "I didn't know whether to cheer or cry."

But what Soebse remembers along with it all is the death of a dream.

"It was kind of like it was at the beginning with Obama," he said of the direction the nation was heading at that time. "We're going to turn this thing around."

"The Kennedy family and the kids — they were the perfect family," he said. "We wanted to be like Kennedy."



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