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Remembering the Kennedy Assassination

Reprinted here, verbatim, is an article from the Thursday, November 28th, 1963 issue of The Monmouth Message.

Fallen Commander-in-Chief Honored in Ceremony Here

FORT MONMOUTH – According to Army ceremony and tradition, some 6000 officers and men at Fort Monmouth massed in formation Saturday morning to hear the Post commander read the official order announcing the death of President Kennedy, victim of an assassin’s bullet on Friday.

The proclamation from Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara was read by Major General Frank W. Moorman, commanding general of Fort Monmouth and the U.S. Army Electronics Command, at a 10-minute ceremony which started sharply at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.

The military formation was conducted from the steps of Russel Hall, while troop units were assembled in Cowan Park, just inside the main gate of this Army installation.

General Moorman, with Post Sergeant Major Charles Stanton at his side, spoke briefly before reading the Defense Secretary’s announcement.

Then General Moorman read Secretary McNamara’s announcement:

I have the sad duty of announcing to the Armed Forces of the United States the death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the President of the United States, who was the victim of an assassin’s bullet Friday, November 22. The world has lost a gallant spirit whose championship of freedom and opportunity will be recognized by history.

All members of the Armed Forces whose welfare was his concern, can pay no better tribute to his memory than to carry on in the tradition which he shared and of which he was so proud. Colors shall be displayed at half mast for 30 days beginning November 22 West Longitude Date. Signed, Robert S. McNamara.

During the day, in another observance at Fort Monmouth, the cannon was fired at half hour intervals. The first round was fired at 6 a.m. and continued through retreat at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Also, announcement was made Saturday afternoon that all activities were to be closed on Monday, except for essential services. This announcement was in accordance with President Lyndon Johnson’s designation of Monday 25 November, as an official day of mourning.

A Catholic Memorial Service was conducted at 1100 hrs. on Monday in the Post Chapel. Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Attillio Pensiglione offered a Requiem High Mass for the late President. Jewish services were held at 0900 and a Protestant service at 0930 hrs. A second Catholic mass was held at 1200 hrs. in Chapel No. 2.

Also at noon, as was the practice at all U.S. military installations, a 21 Minute Gun Salute was fired here. At 1630, the hour of retreat, a 50-gun Salute to the Union was fired at 5 second intervals.

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