A ceremony steeped in patriotism marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy at the San Antonio high school that bears his name on Friday.

Among the day’s speakers was former U.S. Rep. Charles “Charlie” Gonzalez, who urged the students to not just remember Kennedy’s death.

“For a lot of people, it’s commemorating a death -- the passing,” Gonzalez said. “I think that’s always a mistake.”

As historically significant as this day is, Gonzalez said that we should focus on Kennedy’s life as well as his death.

“We should always remember what he did in the areas of civil rights and voters' rights and enjoy the many benefits and opportunities that are ours as a result of President Kennedy’s administration,” he said.

Friday’s ceremony was also an observance of the school’s 50th anniversary.

Kennedy visited San Antonio on the day before he was assassinated as his motorcade travelled through Dealy Plaza in Dallas. He promised to return to formally dedicate the school.

An assassin’s bullet denied him that opportunity.

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