[Washington, D.C.]: . Collection of sixteen gelatin silver prints and eight color photographs on heavy stock. Each measuring 10” x 8” approx. All curling at edges. Slight toning to black-and-white prints. Color prints mildly faded. Very good or better overall. very good +. Item #16437
Taken Veteran's Day, November 11, 1961, these images document Kennedy's first presidential visit to Arlington National Cemetery. The president was accompanied by Major General Paul A. Gavan, Commanding General of the Military District of Washington, as well as the VA administrator John S. Gleason, and military aides General Chester Clifton, Colonel Godfrey McHugh, Captain Tazewell Shepard, and National Commander of the Legion of Valor Thomas Stirling. These images document the president's participation in the Veterans Day ceremony, including laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and speaking to a crowd of more than 5,000 at the Memorial Amphitheater. This speech, perhaps a justification for the United States' increasing involvement in Vietnam, was a message of peace through war: “In the end, the only way to maintain the peace is to be prepared in the final extreme to fight for our country — and to mean it. As a nation, we have little capacity for deception. We can convince friend and foe alike that we are in earnest about the defense of freedom only if we are in earnest -— and I can assure the world that we are.”.