JFK assassination 50th anniversary memorial to be held at Dealey Plaza

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by BRAD WATSON

WFAA

Posted on November 19, 2012 at 8:07 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 20 at 1:43 AM

DALLAS -- A year from now, Dallas will be in the world spotlight for the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.

On Tuesday, Mayor Mike Rawlings will announce details of how the city will remember the tragedy, and Monday News 8 confirmed through a city spokesman that the city will take over a permit for an event at Dealey Plaza.

John Mattes of Grapevine brought his sister who's visiting from California to Dealey Plaza Monday, and they quickly offered where they think the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's death should be held in Dallas.

"It should be here," Debbie Mattes said, "because you get to see where history happened."

"People need to come to the spot to remember it," John Mattes added. "If it's somewhere else, then it's not as profound."

And the City of Dallas agrees. A spokesman told News 8 that the Sixth Floor Museum, which held a permit for events at Dealey Plaza next November, will give it up Tuesday so the JFK 50th Committee can take it over.

Mayor Rawlings appointed the citizens committee to plan a memorial that'll be held Nov. 22, 2013 at 12:30 p.m. -- 50 years to the moment of the first shot.

However, some committee members say they discussed a City Hall Plaza ceremony instead, since there's great sensitivity on what tone and image the city should set for the event that will attract worldwide media coverage.

These committee members say that concern extended to how to deal with the conspiracy vendors constantly at Dealey, but the city says the 50th event will be open to the public.

If not, longtime vendor Robert Groden said he'll be ready to fight.

"If the city wants to keep, the Sixth Floor wants to keep researchers and people who challenge the official fiction out of the plaza, we'll file a lawsuit against the city and the Sixth Floor," he said.

JFK 50th Committee members say some of the early concerns are crowd control, security, and media logistics. The city said Dealey Plaza will be shut down 48 hours prior to the event, which could cause traffic issues, too. Those are all among topics the mayor may discuss Tuesday.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com

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