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SEATTLE -- Fifty years ago today, it was the Friday morning before the Apple Cup. Classes had just let out when campus life came to a horrible halt.

I could tell by looking at the other students who were on the sidewalk, walking towards me something terrible had happened, said Gary Tripp, a UW alumnus.

Other students that were walking in the area. 'The president had been shot! The president had been shot!' It was pretty chaotic, said Paul Caraco, another alumnus.

Paul Caraco was a 22-year-old transportation and marketing major at the time. Gary Tripp was 19, majoring in mechanical engineering.

In that emotional moment, both answered a few questions from a passing Seattle Times reporter, an interview they have no recollection of.

This was the most traumatic dramatic thing I've ever experienced, said Caraco.

Friday morning, they did exactly what they did five decades ago, walked into the HUB and looked for the TV.

Finally in the game room, they found one, just in time to observe the moment of silence for a fallen president.

Back then, hundreds of UW students huddled together, watching the images on the one TV on campus.

A lot of tears, male and female. Caraco said. I'm sure I had them as well.

It was standing room only, that I remember, said Tripp.

But Friday, the two alumni sat sharing the moment alone, as a generation of college students around them went on with life.

The impact of reliving where we are today, is really pretty emotional for me too, said Caraco after watching the TV coverage.

It's nice for us to remember this event, said Tripp. Remember how positive and optimistic John Kennedy was.

Both men hope that optimism will return one day in the future.

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