More than many baby boomers, I became aware of politics through the prism of violence.
I was a 7-year-old second-grader in suburban Washington when the principal sent us home after President John F. Kennedy was shot. My mom was crying. My dad, a political reporter, was covering the story.
As a sixth-grade paperboy five years later, I delivered the front-page news that Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated. Dad was covering that too.
My heart is with my former colleagues, their families & staff, and the US Capitol Police- public servants and heroes today and every day
Eight weeks after King's death, my siblings and I woke up to news that Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, and people near him, had been shot in California. Since he was covering Kennedy's presidential campaign for The Washington Post, Dad was often very near Kennedy. He called to tell us he was OK, though he had been steps away when the shooting happened and comforted the wounded candidate on the floor.
Four years later, in 1972, I was a high school volunteer in a campaign office when news came over the radio that Alabama Gov. George Wallace had been shot a few miles away in Laurel, Maryland. He'd been campaigning in that state's Democratic primary for president.