November 22, 1963

In his daily note, always a worthwhile read, Real Clear Politics editor Carl Cannon marks this fateful anniversary by reminding us about the other man killed that day in Dallas by Lee Harvey Oswald, police officer J.D. Tippit, and the bond of grief formed between the Kennedy's and Tippit's widow:

Part of the story is familiar: How, after the president was shot, Tippit was radioed to be on the lookout in the Oak Cliff neighborhood; how he pulled alongside a suspicious pedestrian who turned out to be Lee Harvey Oswald; how Tippit was shot four times as he got out of his patrol car. The 39-year-old officers death was on television before his wife knew about it.Relatives called her before she heard the terrible news from a stranger. J.D. Tippits funeral took place three days later by then Oswald was also dead and the Baptist church was packed to overflowing. J.D.s death touched a cord in a stricken nation. Thousands of Americans sent letters of condolence. Many sent money for Marie and J.D.s children.Among those who were moved were the Kennedys themselves. In their grief, they blamed themselves for the officers death. That night, Robert Kennedy phoned the family, and in a poignant touch, Marie Tippit ended up consoling the attorney general: They got killed doing their jobs, said Marie. He was being the president, and J.D. was being the policeman he was supposed to be.A couple of days later, a letter arrived from Jackie Kennedy, who expressed remorse and solicitude and offered her help. In reply, Marie told Jackie that she and her husband had always loved the president, and that the only thing she would like was a portrait of the Kennedy family.Days later, a framed photo of the president, the first lady, and their two children taken at Hyannis Port arrived in the mail with an inscription reading:For Mrs. J.D. Tippit - with my deepest sympathy - and the knowledge that you and I now share another bond - reminding our children all their lives what brave men their fathers were - With all my wishes for your happiness, Jacqueline Kennedy."

Read it all here, about Tippit's war heroics, and his widow's lasting grief.

David Gibson is the director of Fordham’s Center on Religion & Culture.

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