Book: Long Shadows - The Farewell to JFK
Author: Jim Leeke
Genre: Non Fiction/History/American Funerals
Summary: Our nation has seldom known a time so terrible and sad as November 1963, when young President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was slain, mourned, and buried. Author Jim Leeke returns us to those four grey and cold days, the shock of a young president fallen, the strength of his black-draped widow, the mourning of the world's leaders gathered silently on an Arlington cemetery hillside as the world watched. Long Shadows, The Farewell to JFK recounts the hour-by-hour drama as experienced by those in the armed services who planned the ceremonies, bore the casket, fashioned the eternal flame, and carried John Kennedy to his grave. Especially, this is the story of the 3rd US Infantry, the "Old Guard," whose members toiled under unimaginable pressure, with little to guide them, and the eyes of a nation upon them. It was a time when everything stopped, and long shadows fell across the nation. -Attic Window Publishing, 2008.
I bought this book in D.C. when I visited two years ago. As JFK is still a big topic of interest to me, I thought it would be interesting to read. The book is about JFK's funeral told through the eyes of the people who performed it. The detail is spectacular and Leeke really did his research.
The details of the narrative bring the funeral to life and it becomes very real for the reader. What makes the narrative so powerful are the personal touches by the officers and other military and government personnel that recount their experiences that day. Some of them are so powerful, they brought me to tears.
I really enjoyed learning about this new side of the JFK funeral, as short as the book was. It's a unique perspective that is sometimes all too easily overlooked or forgotten. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in JFK.
I give Long Shadows - The Farewell to JFK an A+.
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