The following editorial ran in the Arizona Daily Star, Monday, Nov. 25, 1963:
As President John F. Kennedy is laid to rest today in Arlington National Cemetery, the people of our country mourn his passing. The universal sorrow they have expressed since his untimely death indicates they feel something that is much more than the loss of a dear friend.
If that something is anything, it is the shock that comes from realizing that they have been deprived unjustly of a great friend and public servant, who was destined to play a long and influential role in their behalf. For already, in less than three years, John F. Kennedy had shown that he was President of the people. That was his greatest achievement.
As the first President of Catholic faith, he exploded that old myth that a Catholic President would take orders from the Pope. President Kennedy’s official record shows that he found it necessary to oppose some things the American Catholic hierarchy wanted, particularly in the affairs of education.
As President, John Kennedy sought the middle way, and thereby won the scorn and criticism of both left- and right-wing extremists. As a President who sought persistently to promote peace throughout the world, he did not shrink from taking his country to the brink of war with the Soviet Union, just 13 months ago, when the Soviet Union sought to turn Cuba into a missile-launching platform.
In the best sense of the word, President Kennedy was a progressive. Never in all history have so many American people had it so good as during his 34 months of office. During the past nine months in particular, he generated an era of good feeling in which the extremists of the left and right have seemed to have lost much of their audiences.
Amid all of the officialdom that constantly envelops the White House, Jack and Jacqueline Kennedy and their two children made the executive mansion shine out as a happy American home, with the troubles and grief that come with raising a family, but where papa and mama faithfully went to church each Sunday.
Jack and Jacqueline Kennedy as parents, and Jack as President, exercised a healthy influence on American life, reaching down to the grass roots of the nation. The grief the people express today represents that deep affection and gratitude they feel for the family. They mourn the loss of its head, and express full and compassionate sympathy to the mother and the two children who survive.
“Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.”