'Day of Mourning' tribute to Kennedy

 

Editor's note: The following editorial appeared in the pages of the Tyler Morning Telegraph on Nov. 26, 1963, as the nation struggled to come to terms with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

 

Monday was a day of external sunshine.

But it was also cloaked in the shades of death that made it A Day of Mourning for America and the world.

The flag-draped remains of a murdered American President moved slowly at midday over the long avenues of the Capital City to a final resting place among the other beloved dead at Arlington National Cemetery.

Thousands — too many thousands to come within estimate — lined the route of the last slow march.

America looked on from the sidelines of that somber procession. America looked on, it can be said in the sense that all America was represented by that crowd of sad-faced onlookers that stretched out for miles in our Capital City. America was personified over and over again in the old and wrong, the many races, the many creeds, in that somber crowd.

On this fateful Day of Mourning, these assorted creeds and classes that make up America were as one in the depths of the homage they mutely expressed in the grievous loss of their national leader.

In that homage they honored the Man who was dear to many. And, importantly, they honored the Office.

It thus adds to, not detracts from, the great memorial to President John F. Kennedy to say here that Americans lifted themselves to a new high level of moral and spiritual greatness on the Day of Mourning — the Day of the Funeral.

That uplift was achieved in the very real fact that they paid honors to the loftiest of earth's lofty positions — the Presidency of the United States of America.

They honored a man of consecration and great ability, and in so doing they honored a great office. It is greater than any earthly throne. Its occupant is weighted with greater responsibilities, national and worldwide, than now weigh upon any of earth's kings, or queens, or potentates.

And yet it remains close to the people. Too close, one wonders, remembering Friday's betrayal of the faith and affection the friendly, trusting your President had in the crowd, hidden above which was the assassin.

And yet again, the thought comes that the President and the Presidency must remain close to the people, and the people must feel close to the President, whoever he may be.

The people came close Monday — in honored memory of the man and in honor of the highest office in the land.

May that Office forever command and get respect at home and around the globe.

Let all contribute to that objective.

 

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