Friday, May 8, 2009

Interesting Side Note

The Peace Light at Gettysburg was said by Jack Valenti (1921-2007), who was an aide to President Lyndon B. Johnson, to be the source for the eternal flame on President Kennedy’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery. Valenti who was later president of the Motion Picture Assocation of America, related the story when he toured the Gettysburg battlefield, circa 1987, with Licensed Battlefield Guide Bob Mullen. Valenti stated that President Johnson ordered him to take care of the Kennedy funeral arrangements. Mrs. Kennedy requested that there be an eternal flame on the grave at Arlington. There was confusion among the military about what she was requesting. Valenti went back to Mrs. Kennedy who told Valenti that they had toured the field of Gettysburg, and saw the flame on the Eternal Light Peace Memorial. This is what she wanted on President Kennedy’s grave.

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