Monday, February 28, 2011


November 25, 1963


Jacqueline Kennedy, former 1st Lady & widow of the late President John F. Kennedy, said "He belongs to the country."

Her wish will be fulfilled today as her husband will be laid to rest in the National Cemetery at Arlington, Virginia.

At 10:50 a.m. 9 men from 5 of the armed services carry the casket down the steps of the Capitol as the US Navy band plays "Hail to the Chief" & "The US Navy Hymn".

The procession passes once again down Pennsylvania Avenue en route to St. Matthew's Cathedral.

                   St. Matthew's Cathedral
                     Rhode Island Avenue
                        Washington, D.C.
               Photo by John White (2003)

The President's priest from Boston, Richard Cardinal Cushing delivers the mass.

"O God, who alone art ever merciful in sparing of punishment, humbly we pray Thee on behalf of the soul of Thy servant, John Fitzgerald Kennedy...."

November 25, 1963 is also JFK Jr.'s 3rd birthday.

After the church service, as his father's flag-draped casket passes by, John John stands to attention & raises his right hand in salute.

The procession passes the Lincoln Memorial & crosses the bridge to the cemetery where the Irish Guard is performing.

As the casket is placed on the ground & the US flag opened & held by the honor guard above it, a 21 gun salute is given.

Mrs. Kennedy, Robert & Ted light the "eternal flame" which will forever mark the President's grave.

Then Captain Keith Clark, standing on the hilltop, pointing the bell of his horn toward Mrs. Kennedy, plays "Taps".

"And now he belongs to the ages."

Just 2 weeks earlier, President Kennedy had come to Arlington for a Veteran's Day observance.

As he was standing up on the hill where his casket now rests, he looked across the Potomac at the Nation's Capital & said:

"I could stay up here, forever."