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JFK Memorial - Arlington Cemetry

(from:http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/visitor_information/JFK.html)

President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

John F. Kennedy made his first formal visit to Arlington National Cemetery on Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1961, to place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. At the conclusion of the ceremony President Kennedy spoke to more than 5,000 people gathered in the Memorial Amphitheater.

President Kennedy's address began; "We meet in quiet commemoration of a historic day of peace. In an age that threatens the survival of freedom, we join together to honor those who made our freedom possible. ... It is a tragic fact, that war still more destructive and still sanguinary followed [World War II]; that man's capacity to devise new ways of killing his fellow men have far outstripped his capacity to live in peace with his fellow man."


Eleven days prior to Kennedy's assassination he returned to Arlington for the 1963 Armistice Day services. This time he did not address the crowd in the amphitheater.

On Nov. 22, 1963, while on a campaign trip to Dallas, President Kennedy was shot and killed.

There are only two U.S. presidents buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The other is William Howard Taft, who died in 1930.

Though Kennedy is buried at Arlington, at the time of his death, many believed that he would be buried in Brookline, Mass. Woodrow Wilson was the only other president besides Taft who had been buried outside of his native state and in the National Capital Region. President Wilson is buried at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

The Associated Press on Nov. 22, 1963, prematurely announced, "President Kennedy's body will lie in state at the White House tomorrow. ... There's nothing definite yet on the funeral, but it's understood it will be in Boston."

The New York Times announced later that day, "The president was expected to be buried at the Kennedy family plot in Holyhood Cemetery, near Brookline, Mass. He is a native of Boston."

Kennedy's brother-in-law and director of the Peace Corps, Sargent Shriver, arrived at the White House to make tentative arrangements for Kennedy's funeral. However, nothing was definite until the wishes of Jacqueline Kennedy, the president's widow, were known. Her wishes were stated simply, "He belongs to the people."

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