Forty seven years ago today this nation was experiencing shock and grief following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. For three days after his death, Americans and most of the rest of the world’s people were glued to their televisions watching the mournful events proceed through to the President’s burial.
I recall those three terrible days after the assassination with great clarity: The procession from White House to the Capitol where the President lay in state; the continuous around the clock line of tens of thousands of mourners passing by the casket under the Capitol Dome; the final playing of “Hail to the Chief” and the procession back to the White House where the family and world leaders gathered to walk to the Church for the funeral ceremony; and finally the slow procession across the Potomac to Arlington Cemetery for ceremony at graveside, and the lighting of the eternal flame.
But what I recall most vividly whenever I think of or am reminded of that time is the mournful cadence of the muffled drums as the processions moved through the streets.
There is a lot of video available of the events from the actual assassination through the ceremonies at the cemetery, a great deal of it on YouTube, but most of it is in black and white. I was surprised when I found some videos in color, also on YouTube.
I merged four of those videos which contain little bits of almost everything that went on from the procession to the Capitol Building forward. Unfortunately, either the film had deteriorated over time or the uploader had to lower the resolution to comply with YouTube’s requirements. Also, because the videos give primary coverage to the casket it fails to show the true size and makeup of the processions. Nevertheless, I think this video is quite compelling.