Friday, November 25, 2016


JFK+50:  Volume 7, No. 2140


Arlington, Virginia (JFK+50) November 25, 1963, fifty-three years ago today, the 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, was laid to rest at the National Cemetery here in Arlington.

The National Day of Mourning proclaimed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, began just after 10 a.m. when JFK's casket was removed from the Capitol Rotunda by a military honor guard and placed on a horse drawn caisson.

The caisson was followed by a sailor bearing the Flag of the President of the United States and by a riderless horse* with boots turned backward in the stirrups.  The military procession marched slowly to the beat of muffled drums.**

From the White House, the procession made its way to nearby Saint Matthew's Cathedral on Rhode Island Avenue where a Low Mass was conducted by the Archbishop of Boston and Kennedy family friend, Richard Cardinal Cushing.

As the President's flag-draped casket was moved out of the cathedral and placed back on the caisson, John F. Kennedy, Jr., dressed in blue, raised his right hand in a soldier's salute in honor of his dad.

The procession continued past the Lincoln Memorial and across the bridge to Arlington National Cemetery.  There, on the hill just below the Custis-Lee Mansion, the body of the 35th President of the United States reached it's final resting place.

Mrs. Kennedy, Robert and Ted Kennedy together lit the Eternal Flame on the grave.  Its' light continues to remind us of our Nation's loss.

*Black Jack (1947-1976) the riderless horse used in the state funerals of JFK, Herbert Hoover, LBJ & General Douglas MacArthur, was named named after General John J. Pershing.  He was buried on the parade grounds at Ft. Myer with full military honors.

**Muffled Drums are dampened, or muffled, reducing the resonance or harsh overtones that drums sometimes emit.

Black Jack at the US Capitol
November 25, 1963
Photo by David S. Schuartz, US Army
JFK Library Image

Alex Drinnen
Plays the Muffled Drum
Carter High School
Knoxville, TN
Photo by John White (2014)

John F. Kennedy Gravesite
Arlington National Cemetery
Photo by John White (2016)

The Eternal Flame
 Arlington National Cemetery
 Photo by WKnight94