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The Education Forum

Taps at President Kennedy's funeral

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Joseph McBride wrote on Facebook today: After helping to kill President Kennedy, the military gave him a grand televised funeral intended to stupefy the nation in its grieving and prevent the people from taking to the streets in protest of what had just happened. To turn her dead husband into a Lincolnesque legend, Jacqueline Kennedy brilliantly but perhaps misguidedly directed the spectacle, the final act of a moving but numbing four-day docudrama watched by much of the country. And yet the broken note of the bugler (Army Sergeantt Keith Clark) playing "Taps" for the slain commander in chief was one of the most poignant moments of that weekend, more moving than John-John's salute because it was more spontaneous (the boy's stage-managing mother told him to salute his father's coffin, but the bugler felt mortified by his very human, deeply expressive mistake):

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