The recent film, Jackie, about Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, is getting lots of attention.
Seems she never loses her allure, while we remain fascinated by her.
The film chronicles the assassination, along with the pain over losing her husband, as if it should come as a big surprise.
Imagine, not only the loss, but being there, cradling his head, what was left of it, in her lap refusing at the hospital to allow him taken from the limousine, fearing the world would see, what she already knew.
Her beloved Jack, was no more.
A Secret Service man threw his jacket over JFK, and only then, did she let him go.
At her worst moment, Jackie held her ground.
When they said she couldn’t enter the examination room, she went in anyway.
“I want to be with my husband.”
She then got hold of her brother-in-law, Sargent Robert Shriver, asking him to please go to The Library of Congress to get all there was to know about Abraham Lincoln’s funeral, 98 years earlier.
As shocked as she had to be, her correctness…what she felt was her husband’s due, did not desert her. Compare her to Mary Lincoln, so distraught, she couldn’t even attend her husband’s funeral.
Black bunting was draped throughout The White House. Every flag in the country flown at half mast.
JFK’s body traveled by caisson, followed by a riderless horse with boots set backward in the saddle’s stirrups, to honor our fallen leader.
But the tale that always brings me to tears, is Jackie’s decision to walk to the church behind her husband’s casket.
The Secret Service, who had just lost a president on their watch, begged her not to.
They were afraid snipers were at large, still having no idea who was responsible for this horrific crime.
Ninety foreign dignitaries came to pay their respects, so their fear wasn’t unfounded.
They were particularly concerned about LBJ, our new president, and French President, Charles De Gaulle, both extremely tall and easy targets.
De Gualle had a rare blood type they flew in, just in case.
And Johnson…we just lost a president…could we survive losing another?
“Please Mrs. Kennedy, please ride in a car. We’re worried about those who will follow you.”
Jackie said, “They can do whatever they wish, but I’m walking behind my husband.”
These men, who knew the danger, all collectively said…
If she walks, we walk…and they did.
On that sad day in history, in November, 1963, it gave courage, valor and dignity a whole new face.
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, was all but 34 years old.