Editor's note: This editorial appeared in The Hays Daily News on Nov. 24, 1963, two days after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
As these lines are being written at an early hour Saturday morning, the guns on U.S. military bases and ships are thundering on the half-hour to render honor to our late President John F. Kennedy whose soul now explores the vast Frontier of eternity.
Eulogies and tributes have been paid him eloquently by countless millions, at home and abroad, from high and low, more adequate than we could hope to express. His death at the hands of a vicious assassin has not only shaken a nation, but the world.
In less than three years in the office of the presidency, he placed a mark on the pages of history that will not be erased. A man of courage, conviction and determination in public life he adhered to the high ideals and strove to attain the high goals in which he believed. That his humanitarian instincts endeared him to the masses is evident from the heavy gloom that instantaneously engulfed humanity at the first word of his death.
As has been the case throughout history with all great leaders, his policies were highly controversial. In public life, he had his admirers and detractors, those who would further the programs he espoused, those who would alter or reject them. As a champion of freedom and the democratic processes he would have had it no other way.
But as the departure of the late president from the scene has been decreed by the inexplicable vagaries of fate, the nation he guided zealously and patriotically now inexorably enters a new era.
Now Lyndon B. Johnson, who for two years, ten months and two days lived but a heartbeat from the presidency, is president of the United States. As this is a world of the living, the affairs of government and people must go on. The tides stand still for no man, no nation.
What the days ahead hold for him, for you and for us, remains to be told. Fortunately, as he assumes the world's most trying job at a trying time in history, he is well-prepared to guide the affairs of state. His long years of experience in the Halls of Congress and participation in formulating high level policy decisions in the Kennedy administration will stand him in good stead as the vexing problems, known only to one who occupies the highest chair in the land, arms.
President Johnson, as have his predecessors, has asked for guidance from God. All of us pray such will be forthcoming.
Americans, steeped in the nourishment of freedom and democracy, must rally to the support of the new president. Partisan political considerations will become evident soon enough, but until the ship of state is clearly distant from the shoals it behooves one and all responsible and patriotic Americans to conduct themselves in the manner traditional since the first blow for freedom was struck.
In sadly saying farewell to John F. Kennedy, we welcome President Lyndon Baines Johnson with the fervent prayer that the Divine guidance he seeks will not be denied.