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.
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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,