LEBANON, MO. – This month, the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy will be highlighted across the nation and Lebanon will be no exception.
The American Heritage Class at Lebanon High School, under the direction of Dr. James Ford, in conjunction with Holman-Howe Funeral Home will be hosting a memorial service, a historic display as the East Room of the White House was arranged during the service period, as well as a re-enactment of the funeral processional and final burial at Arlington National Cemetery on Nov. 22.
The event will be most noted for a community wide “tolling of the bells” at exactly 12:34 p.m. the exact time 50 years ago when the young president lost his life in Dallas, Texas. Students will be strategically stationed at churches across Lebanon as well as at Lebanon High School, and the unison tolling will continue for 50 repetitions.
The event will continue at approximately 12:50 p.m. when a symbolic procession will leave the funeral home and circle around to the south parking lot led by Father David Miller, representing Cardinal Cushing. There will be a bagpiper, the military honor guard accompanying the casket, students and community members representing Mrs. Kennedy, the Kennedy children, the Kennedy brothers, Robert and Ted, Presidents Johnson, Eisenhower, and Truman, all who walked or rode in the procession, as well as other community members who will follow the procession. The ceremony will conclude with Full Military Honors and the lighting of the Eternal Flame, just as it ended at Arlington National Cemetery in 1963.
“The historic exhibit will start at 1:30 p.m. and Lebanon residents are encouraged to share any historic newspapers, magazines, or other relative memorabilia they might have to commemorate the event. Materials will begin to be collected after November 10th at the Holman-Howe Funeral Home and will be displayed throughout the funeral home. The Holman-Howe drawing room will be set up just as the East Room of the White House was during the funeral period, complete with a Full Military Honor Guard and presidential funeral items of protocol. We have done a great deal of research to make the display as realistic as possible, including discussions with Joseph Gawlers Funeral Directors in Washington, D.C. and the Funeral Service History Museum in Houston, Texas. Both organizations have been extremely helpful in providing information to aid in maintaining the authenticity for the event,” Kenneth Howe said. “I also have visited twice with Mrs. Jackie Kennedy’s brother, who is so very pleased we are hosting the event.”
The public is invited to the 12:20 p.m. event as the bell tolling begins, to witness the funeral procession, and to view the exhibits on display from 1:30 until 5:00 p.m. at Holman-Howe Funeral Home.
Posted Nov. 21