Remembering When 3-Year-Old JFK Jr. Saluted His Father's Casket
John F. Kennedy Jr. was only a toddler when his father died in a devastating assassination in Dallas, Texas. In fact, he turned three years old at his father’s funeral just a few days later, where he gave an iconic salute to the presidential casket that was captured on film.
A secret service agent there on the day of the assassination noted that the image of JFK Jr. was “one of the photographs that remind me how sad the occasion was.” Clint Hill describes how John John’s mother Jackie Onasis was holding his hand at the time and had leaned down and whispered something to him right before his salute.
He said that JFK Jr. was taught to salute earlier and followed suit when the casket was brought out and all the military presence saluted. Clint said in a CNN interview that the moment sparked a lot of tears noting that he doesn’t think there was a dry eye in the house from the “highest-ranking general to the lowest private.”
Clint also admits that he still gets choked up often times when he sees that photo, just like many others still do to this day. The iconic image reminded a grieving nation that a country hadn’t just lost its leader but a son had just lost his father as well.
Do you remember the photograph and the funeral? Let us know about your memories of the image and of the day and be sure to pass this article along to your friends and family.