Re: “David McCullough, Pulitzer-winning historian, dies at 89” [Aug. 8, Nation]”

David McCullough spoke at the 50th commemoration of the John F. Kennedy assassination in Dallas on a cold and blustery day in November 2013. My son was part of AmeriCorps’ Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Corps team that had an assignment with seating arrangements, and he invited me to the ceremony.

In his speech, McCullough used Kennedy’s words from commencement addresses the president had delivered over the years. Using these commencement words says a lot about McCullough — he found new resources for this occasion to honor the fallen president in a new way to highlight the American spirit.

After the ceremony, McCullough met with the FEMA Corps volunteers for a photo, and both asked and answered questions. He was teaching to and learning from a new generation. He knew the American spirit never dies if it is passed on to the next generation.

Gary McNeil, Seattle