Death of soldier who was part of JFK funeral guard of honour
BRIAN McKevitt Comdt. Retd. of The Old Schoolhouse, Dundalk Street, Carlingford, who died last Monday, November 26th, was part of a group of Irish soldiers who provided a guard of honour at the funeral of John F Kennedy on November 25 1963.
Brian was captain of the cadet class, which was literally given hours to prepare for the role they would play in an event that was watched by hundreds of millions across the world.
They were requested to travel to the United States for the President’s funeral by his grieving widow Jacqueline.
Just months earlier, President Kennedy became the first world leader to lay a wreath at Arbour Hill, at the grave of those who died in the 1916 uprising. The ceremony featured a series of solemn, silent drills performed by a cadet class.
The president was so impressed by the performance that he requested that a recording of it be sent to him at the White- house. He had watched it many times and when the preparations for the state funeral were being made, the First Lady made a special request for the cadets to perform it at the grave.
The cadets had only hours to get ready to fly out to the United States for the funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. It was the only time that foreign troops ever rendered honours at the funeral of an American president.
Brian is survived by his Denise, sons Páraic, Domhnall and Brian, daughter Áine, daughters in law Nathaile, Audrey and Sheila, grandchildren Liam, Donnacha, Sunniva, Conor, Ronan and Joe, brother Terry and his wife Kay, brothers-inlaw Dan and Jim, sisters-in-law Nora and Mary, nephews, nieces relatives, army comrades, and his many friends.
His funeral took place on Thursday morning after Mass in St. Michael’s Church, Carlingford with burial in St. Michael’s Cemetery.