‘We were not found wanting’

A letter that went out on Nov. 27, 1963, from Administrator Jack Price to all Parkland employees – and is now engraved on a plaque in the hospital – also praised those who had been involved in the events that transpired between 12:38 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22, and 1:07 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24. It noted that:

... In the intervening 48 hours and 31 minutes Parkland Memorial Hospital had:

1. Become the temporary seat of government of the United States.

2. Become the temporary seat of the government of the state of Texas.

3. Become the site of the death of the 35th President.

4. Become the site of the ascendancy of the 36th President.

5. Become the site of the death of President Kennedy's accused assassin.

6. Twice become a center of attention of the world.

7. Continued to function at close to normal pace as a large charity hospital.

What is it that enables an institution to take in stride such a series of history-jolting events. Spirit? Dedication? Preparedness? Certainly. All of these are important. But the underlying factor is people. People whose education and training is sound. People whose judgment is calm and perceptive. People whose actions are deliberate and definitive. Our pride is not that we were swept up by the whirlwind of tragic history but that, when we were, we were not found wanting.

JFK Memorial
Parkland’s memorials are along the first floor hallway near the hospital south side exit. They include portraits of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, the Presidential seal, and an engraving of C.J. Price’s office memorandum sent to Parkland employees. Across the hallway stands a sculpted bust, the eighth of 100 cast by artist Felix de Weldon and donated to Parkland by Dallas philanthropist Ralph Isenberg. The original of the work is on display at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.