Sen. Kennedy Joins Brothers at Arlington

CBS Evening News
August 29, 2009

The Kennedys’ appreciation for Arlington started when President John Kennedy decided to take a random Sunday drive in March of 1963, eight months before his assassination.

According to Robert Poole, journalist and author of On Hallowed Ground: The Story of Arlington National Cemetery, Kennedy happened to drive to the cemetery and then decided to walk up a hill, reports CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andrews.

As the president absorbed the view overlooking the Lincoln Memorial , Poole says, he foretold his fate.

“First he says, ‘Would this be a great place for the White House?’ and the second thing he says is ‘It is so beautiful, I could stay here forever.’ Of course it proved to be sadly prophetic statement because a few months later he was dead and this is where he ended up forever,” Poole said.

The day after John Kennedy was shot, as he lay in the Capitol Rotunda, Jackie Kennedy slipped away to visit Arlington. Finding a spot on that very same hill and on the same straight line facing Lincoln’s Memorial she decided the President would come here, not Massachusetts.

“She said that she wanted him here so that he would belong to the country,” Poole said.