Geranium Farm Home     Who's Who on the Farm     The Almost Daily eMo     Subscriptions     Coming Events     Links
Hodgepodge     More or Less Church     Ways of the World     Father Matthew     A Few Good Writers     Bookstore
Light a Prayer Candle     Message Board     Donations     Gifts For Life     Pennies From Heaven     Live Chat

Hodgepodge from The Geranium Farm

Debbie Sharp Loeb, teacher by training but full-time mom to a disabled son, craftsperson, bead artist, great cook, creative homemaker & terrific spotter of cool new products for everything under the sun, presents Hodgepodge: recipes, household hints, stories about children, friends & relatives, cool stuff, music, & much more.

Subscribe for HP via email

Search Hodgepodge...

Friday, November 21, 2008

November 22nd, 1963

These extraordinary pictures were taken by Hodgepodge reader Dee from Las Cruces, NM and she writes about this day:

The JFK Funeral

November Autumn days in northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. are phenomenally beautiful.The skies are deep, clear blue and the sunshine is intense and soul-raising. Most trees have lost their leaves but there is that last blast of glory which invades the spirit. Such was the day of John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s funeral. It was as though the earth had opened up to send her native son to Heaven where it was certain he would live after such an ending here below. The day of his assassination was rather cloudy and dreary; certainly, as a young teacher in charge of 50 4th graders in Ramsey Elementary School, Alexandria, the last thing on my mind was the amazing horror which would transpire. It was the end of the week; we were finishing up our classwork and all was quiet. I stepped out into the hall for a 5-minute break. My friend Suzanne Flory, speech therapist for the school district, had arrived upstairs from the office and she looked as tho’ someone had smacked her. She quietly said to me, “John Kennedy has been shot and they say he will not live.” That’s all. Nothing more All was quiet and dark. It remained for me to inform the children who indeed thought of Mr. Kennedy and his family as near relations; they saw the Kennedys all the time, watched Caroline riding through the White House grounds on Macaroni, her pony; glued themselves to the television whenever Jackie glided into the situation looking spectacular but most of all, they and indeed all of us young adults, felt that John Kennedy knew US – that he cared about our existence as fellow citizens and human beings. It wasn’t only to do with politics – it had to do with person-to-person. Those of us who lived close to the White House felt that we could visit there and, should he come into the hall or room and speak to us, it would be as a friend welcoming us to his home – not the leader of the free world.

And so….he died. The children’s only response was that we should all be praying for him in case it might help him live. They didn’t really want him to leave us but this was what they could do on the moment to help. Those children are now 53 and 54 years old – I hope they know how impressive they were in their response and how they stood up to this grizzly situation.

We all felt a responsibility to “be there” for him as he made his last journey along the streets of Washington that gloriously sunny Autumn day. There were thousands of people lining the routes his caisson took. We knew it was a never-to-be-repeated moment in history. The most touching things in my own memory were two: the riderless horse with boots backward in the stirrups – a very beautiful black stallion who was the picture of excellence and grandeur representing the fallen leader. And the silence. No audible talking; only the muffled drums of the Scottish and Irish Guards as they accompanied John Kennedy through D.C. It’s very daunting to be part of such an immense crowd when noone is saying anything. Respect; grief; awe – permeating our minds. With all the attention paid to Mr. Kennedy, we can also never forget the immense dignity with which Jacqueline Kennedy accompanied her husband until the very last possible moment. Altho’ just the night before, she had written a quiet midnight note to her God which simply said, “Dear God, please take care of my husband.”, she nonetheless led us all by her example the next day, head up, position and responsibility taken seriously. And then….when all was done, we thought, she went home to give her 3-year-old son a birthday party. There’s only one word for that: guts. Love and prayers to all 5 Kennedys now gone –and to dear Caroline who is the only one left.

(Our thanks to Dee for sharing her rememberances and photos from this most sad day in our nation's history.)

Labels: ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a fantastic article. It brought back the grief I felt during that horrific time. I was living in Ft. Worth when he was killed, but what pain I felt for not only the Kennedys but for my beloved home time of Dallas. I
couldn't fathom something like this taking place in Dallas, which had always been a place of family, dear friends, and comfort for me. I wondered if Dallas would ever live it down, but it soon became apparent that others were thinking it could have been our town.

You really should think about writing a book. You are so talented.

Sylvia Izon

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will make sure that Dee sees your comment. -

11:45 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Copyright © 2003-Present Geranium Farm - All rights reserved.
Reproduction of any materials on this web site for any purpose
other than personal use without written consent is prohibited.