JFK funeral attracts many

Joyce Weedman

“I remember walking outside, and it was just this stillness and obviously people crying, but for the most part my attention was on the paper and on getting that issue out and then heading toward Washington.”

“We first got into Washington, and we stopped at the bus station to clean up. … The bus station was absolutely filled with people, black people primarily, black from the deep South, coming up to Washington for this event and being aware that the line was like three miles long.”

“Repeatedly I would ask, ‘Why are you doing this? You probably won’t even get up there because there’s so many people here, and it’s freezing out, and it’s the middle of the night.’ Each person said something like, ‘How could I not be here? I had to come.’ I was so moved by that. I was so incredibly moved by that. I still am.”

“I went directly into the rotunda through the front door, bypassing the long line. There were big palm plants in big potter pots around the room, and I sat behind the one just to the left of the front door and watched the people going by the casket. … There was no security whatsoever. Not one person asked me, ‘Why are you, a kid in tennis shoes and jeans, sitting on the floor in the rotunda?’ I had a camera, and I had my notebooks, but the security was absolutely absent, except for the guards, the military. I think there were 10 in each rotation, and they came in a new rotation every hour which was very profound, very beautiful.”

“I was standing with the Congress in front of the casket, but I was busted by Secret Service at that point because I was clearly out of place. … A couple of them came over and took my arm and pulled me away to the side, took the film out of my camera. Luckily, they didn’t search me because I had a couple more rolls stuck in my pocket. But then they took me back over and stuck me in front of the press, so that’s where I was the rest of the time.”