The Kennedy Detail
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Your historic and profound book

Dear Mr. Blaine...

I just finished reading "The Kennedy Detail" and I cannot remember being as moved as I was by the profound historical and personal events that you shared.

In the fall of 1963, I was an 11-year old sixth-grader from Long Island, NY. My class had been scheduled for a 3-day visit to Washington, DC, from Dec. 4-6. On the afternoon of Nov. 22, I can still vividly remember the news report from Dallas that was suddenly piped over the speaker system in our classroom. My sixth-grade teacher---who was to lead us on our trip---was walking toward the windows with some books in her hand as the news flash was heard over the speaker. In one movement, she gasped, and slammed the books down on the windowsill. I will never forget that moment. Twelve days later we took a bus to Washington, and my little brownie instamatic camera captured the somber images of the DC flags at half-mast, the black crepe hanging outside the White House, and finally, the temporary grave of President Kennedy on the hillside at Arlington, covered with flowers, and the small white picket fence around the grave. He had been buried only ten days before. Even though I was only 11, I felt first-hand the sadness that had settled over the nation.

Although I have periodically read about the assassination and watched the films, I had never really made up my mind regarding a conspiracy, or the supposed shot from the grassy knoll. I also never really thought about the role of the secret service that day because your story had never been told. Until now.

Your book was riveting. The true story of the Kennedy Detail and the Secret Service in general during those years and that fateful weekend was so fascinating and answered a lot of questions for me. I truly believe every word you wrote was true---not only because you lived through it, but also because your book showed me the absolute trustworthiness and bravery of the Secret Service men we rarely think of. Your motto: "Worthy of Confidence and Trust" says it all. Because of who you were then, and who you are now, I stand fully behind your explanation of that day in Dallas. I am 58 years old, and whenever the opportunity arises, I will tell others of your valor, your candidness, and the truth of what happened. I fully agree that it was time for you to speak as a voice of truth in the midst of all the falsity and conjecture that has become, for lack of a better phrase, "the JFK conspiracy industry." Mr. Blaine, you were meant to write this book...for us who remember, but especially for those in the future. Your book is an historical document.

But, finally, I am grateful that you that you had the courage to share memories that were so heart-wrenching, so deeply painful, so human. I am grateful that you and your fellow agents, especially Clint Hill, were given the opportunity to open the floodgates and let the healing inside. In my mind's eye, I keep seeing the film of Mr. Hill dashing toward the Kennedy car, but now I know what happened in the split second before. I always thought he was running toward the car to move Jackie Kennedy back down into the I realize that he was running to reach the car so that he would take the bullet that killed the President. There is a lifetime of heroism in those six seconds....

Thank you, Mr. Blaine, for all that you have done. I also thank Lisa McCubbin...together, you have given us a book worthy of the Kennedy family, and the men and women with whom you served...


Ken Giovanelli

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