Posted by Marcia on July 25, 1999 at 09:20:38:
In Reply to: Re: Interesting, but strange posted by Petra on July 24, 1999 at 22:45:02:
: >>> Now, that picture made me wonder who in the world would encourage that poor child, just a toddler, to perform a military gesture in that situation. Stuff like that doesn't grow in the mind of a three year old, who should be hugged and on his mother's lap instead of being filmed at his father's grave, and adults sometimes have strange ideas about how little children should perform.
Here again, you don't quite have the whole story. John had become fascinated with all things military, from the helicopter to the soldiers he saw daily, for some time before his father's death. He had been saluting folks for days using his left hand, and had just been shown earlier in the week, how to do it correctly. He was very proud of having learned it. When he was getting restless, as a 3-year old would certainly do during a ceremony he didn't understand, I think it was not only natural, but touching, that Jackie would tell him to say goodbye to his father with the salute he had just mastered.
And I'm quite sure that, given the choice, Jackie would have preferred him to be home on her lap, too. Unfortunately, someone decided to kill the president, and took that cozy scene away. As to whether or not a child of that age belongs at a funeral service, I think that's up to the parent involved to decide, and given the circumstances of this particular family, and Jackie's determination to say goodbye to her husband with dignity, she made the decision to have both of his children at the church. They were quite used to being taken to church services, I believe. The photo was taken outside as the coffin left, not at the grave, by the way.
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