With joy and also a bit of sadness I read that Miami Dade College has acquired use of the Dyer Courthouse building adjacent to its Wolfson Campus.
That courthouse represents a very important moment of my life. I was sworn in as a United States citizen on Nov. 22, 1963 in that gorgeously decorated central courtroom of the Dyer courthouse.
I was a very precocious young man who had just turned 15 years of age, eligible for citizenship by virtue of my father’s then-recent naturalization.
In midst of the ceremony the presiding judge stopped the proceeding and in a very emotional tone of voice informed all gathered that the president had been assassinated.
The room immediately was electrified with cries, moans, and tears. Without prompting, we all stood and began singing the national anthem.
I still get goose bumps thinking about that day. Needless to say, I can always recite where I was the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
I can’t wait for the building to be reopened to the public. I need to return to that courtroom to shed a few tears and say a few prayers.
Raul R. Rodriguez,