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President Kennedy Joins Veterans Day Ceremonies

Nov. 11, 1963 - President Kennedy placed a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns today as the nation honored its war veterans. Veterans Day brought perfect weather, bright and sunny. Flanked by military aides, the President stood in front of the simple white tomb at Arlington National Cemetery, which has this inscription: “Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God.” Mr. Kennedy, hatless and in a dark, pinstriped suit, placed the red, white, and blue wreath on the tomb, then stepped back as a bugler sounded taps. The President had planned to return immediately to the White House. Instead he decided to stay for the rest of the ceremony in the amphitheater. With him was his son, John Jr., who will be 3 years old Nov. 25. The boy sat in the audience while his father was on the stage. At one point, John Jr. broke away from a Secret Service agent and headed for the stage. When he had been recaptured, he was placed in a walkway, guarded by the agent and a White House photographer. They managed to discourage him from breaking out again. After the ceremony, however, he found his way between a pair of military aides and seized his father’s hand.

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