John F. Kennedy's lasting legacy on Space Coast

Nation marks 50th anniversary of JFK's death

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. - As the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the death of President John F. Kennedy, the men and women who work at the space center named for him have their eyes on the next dream mission.

Kennedy's vision of landing a man on the moon and returning him back to Earth catapulted the nation's fascination with space travel, and the Kennedy Space Center made it happen.

For visitors exploring the Space Coast of Central Florida for the first time, they still remember where they were the day the president was killed.

"I cried, I was crying," said Ruddy Matos, who is visiting from Staten Island, New York. "I thought that was the worst thing to ever happen to us."

Matos and his family chose to eat at a Mexican Restaurant in Cape Canaveral on Friday.

What they didn't know was La Fiesta used to be named The Moon Hut, which was a favorite hangout for astronauts at the height of the space race.

Photos still hang on the walls as a tribute to history.

"It's beyond anyone's imagination that we've gone all the way out there, and we're still looking to go up where no man has gone before," said Matos.

There were no ceremonies at the Kennedy Space Center commemorating the president's death on Friday.

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