JFK’s Irish Honour Guard

The Honour Guard at JFK`s graveside were the 37th Cadet Class of the Irish Army.

Never before in American history have a sovereign army been invited to carry out such an event on US soil.

JFK was greatly impressed by the Irish Cadets on his last official visit to the Republic of Ireland, so much so that Jackie Kennedy requested the Irish Army to be the Honour Guard at her husband´s funeral.

Narrated In Irish, English Subtitles Provided

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  1. by Maurice Aherne

                             Nigh on a half century ago,  I remember seeing the subject of this documentary- on a black and white screen via Telstar
                                I remember in 1963-seeing JFK -in Dublin Ireland. The tanned figure in a light blue suit lit up a city -and a country. He was impressive; even from a moving cavacade and at a great distance-(Canal end of Dorset St is not a great vantage point-for a 7 year old)
     Despite what some opportunist scribes would have you think-he was no more amoral a man than any red blooded male, who might happen to be leader of the free world-would be. Not to mention, looking like Gatsby wished he looked like. Women couldn’t help themselves.

    Similarly, unknown to a young mind was the fact-that-the fleeting distant figure had -with wise counsel, prevented a thermo nuclear apocalypse-seevn months earlier. Curtis LeMay, and the boys,-were eager to be as effective -in late October ’62 :as the ‘firm’ and the other departments were ineffective, at the Bay in ’61. It took more than wealth and looks to stand against ‘everyone’.

     I digress

    On that visit to Ireland in the summer of ’63, -he expressed that anyone visiting Washington-would be welcome to drop by at the White House. I was to do so-decades later-not because of this memory-but for curiosity generally.    As I stood under the lantern -and inside the rooms of the house designed by Hoban-I could feel the history not just of all First Families-but my own.  Cameras not permitted-but I embedded the memories.
     One doesn’t have to be a visiting politician.  Though I can almost see how our Irish political class can be lured into 5 star travel and accomodation.  I went eco-class.
    I dropped in no more than twice-at the Pentagon. I stood in the centre of that ‘power house’-and to this day -I would view most people there -as ‘mortgaged and hard working’-but invariablt misled.
    Remember the parting words of Eisenhower with regard to the ‘military industrial complex’ Many didn’t or chose not to!
    I have similarly with more imagination and desire, than ability to comfortably do so; seized the opportunity- to visit almost half of the great US States from the beaches of California to verdant Vermont.
    My fascination with aviation, led me to Flight Test and Air Force bases across a wondrous land; of hospitable and hard working people.
     In the Rotunda of the Capitol building-I reviewed in my mind-some of the people who since the late 1700’s were here-both alive -and dead.  You see- present leaders walk through.  Dead leaders are given an overnight pass.

  2. Great honour for Ireland

  3. Clár faisnéise an-spéisiúil, an onóir do dhaltaí aon amhras!