Dwight D. Eisenhower
At 1225 on 28 March 1969, after a long battle against a heart ailment, Dwight David Eisenhower, General of the Army and thirty-fourth President of the United States, died at the age of seventy-eight in Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C. President Richard M. Nixon immediately ordered flags at American installations everywhere to be flown at half-mast for the following thirty days. He designated Monday, 31 March, a day of national mourning for General Eisenhower.
Plans for honoring the former President with a State Funeral had been prepared in 1966; later modified somewhat, they incorporated the wishes of the general and his immediate family. The plans called for ceremonies in Washington and in Abilene, Kansas, the general's home town. In Washington the general's body was to lie in the Washington National Cathedral, then be taken in a full funeral procession to the U.S. Capitol to lie in state in the rotunda. After a funeral service in the Washington National Cathedral, the body was to be taken by train to Abilene, where a second funeral service was to be held on the steps of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library. General Eisenhower was to be buried in a crypt in the Place of Meditation, a small chapel on the library grounds.
Responsibility for conducting ceremonies in Washington and for co-ordinating all funeral arrangements rested with the commanding general of the Military District of Washington, Maj. Gen. Charles S. O'Malley, Jr. In Abilene the commanding general of the Fifth U.S. Army, in whose territorial jurisdiction Abilene lay, had responsibility.
At 1700 on 28 March General O'Malley and Armed Forces Police escorted General Eisenhower's body from the hospital to Gawler's funeral establishment. A joint service body bearer detail handled the casket, and there was no ceremony. The body of the former President was placed in the Jefferson Room, on the basement level of the funeral home. Army guards took station at each of the three entrances to the room, and a joint honor guard kept vigil at the casket until late morning of 29 March.
On the 29th, General Eisenhower's casket was taken from the funeral establishment to the Washington National Cathedral. Mortuary attendants brought
Diagram 116. Departure formation, Gawler's Funeral Home.
the casket to the rear entrance of the establishment at 1045 and a joint body bearer team carried it to a hearse with no ceremony except the salutes of the site control officer, Capt. Jeffrey L. Dalia of the 3d Infantry, and General O'Malley, the escort commander. A small cortege formed for the short drive to the cathedral. Two members of the Metropolitan Police on motorcycles led the way, followed by a sedan carrying Armed Forces Police, another bearing General
O'Malley, the hearse, and at the rear a car carrying more Armed Forces Police. (Diagram 116)
The cortege was scheduled to reach the entrance of Bethlehem Chapel of the cathedral at 1100. In preparation for the arrival ceremony, participating troops took their positions at 1030. (Table 39) Inside the cathedral, a relief of the joint honor guard, one officer and six enlisted men, waited to stand watch at the bier. Outside, the U.S. Marine Band, fifty-four musicians and their leader, formed on the lawn near the Bethlehem Chapel entrance. A joint honor cordon, one officer and eleven enlisted men, lined both sides of the walkway and steps to the entrance, while along the walk at the curb were the national color detail, the personal flag bearer, and the chaplain of the Military District of Washington, Col. Wayne E. Soliday. In the driveway, just off the curb, ten general and flag officers of the five uniformed services stood as special honor guard. Beside a shrub garden in the center of the driveway, near the point at which the hearse bearing General Eisenhower's casket would stop, waited a joint body bearer team and the site control officer.
The ceremonial area was secured by a cordon of Army troops; other troops were on duty to handle traffic and parking. An Army detail of one officer and four enlisted men was also present to handle floral offerings. (The Eisenhower
HEARSE ARRIVES AT WASHINGTON NATIONAL CATHEDRAL
family asked that instead of flowers, contributions be made to charities; nevertheless, floral tributes arrived in abundance.)
A few minutes before 1100, dignitaries invited by the Eisenhower family to serve as honorary pallbearers arrived and took position at the chapel entrance. Among them were General of the Army Omar N. Bradley; Generals J. Lawton Collins, Lauris Norstad, Wade H. Haislip, and Alfred M. Gruenther; Admiral Arthur W. Radford; the former President's brothers, Milton and Edgar Eisenhower; Col. G. Gordon Moore (Mrs. Eisenhower's brother-in-law); and M. Sgt. John Moaney, long-time aide to General Eisenhower. The Eisenhower family and other dignitaries reached the cathedral at the same time and were guided to positions for the arrival ceremony.
The cortege arrived at the chapel entrance shortly after 1100. As soon as the escort commander, General O'Malley, had left his car and taken a position near the entrance, the site control officer, Capt. Patrick D. Mulroy of the 3d Infantry, gave the signal for the ceremony to begin. (Diagram 117) The body bearers took their places at the rear of the hearse and the honor cordon presented arms. The
Diagram 117. Arrival ceremony, Bethleham Chapel, Washigton National Cathedral.
U.S. Marine Band sounded ruffles and flourishes and played "Hail to the Chief" then began the hymn, "God of Our Fathers." The body bearers removed the casket from the hearse and as the hymn was played the procession moved into the cathedral. General O'Malley led. He was followed by the special honor guard, the national color detail, the clergy, the body bearers with the casket (which was placed on a movable bier just inside the cathedral), the personal flag bearer, the honorary pallbearers, the Eisenhower family, and officials.
As the last of the procession entered the cathedral, the Marine Band stopped playing and the honor cordon ordered arms. Inside, the national color detail and personal flag bearer left the procession when it reached the doorway of Bethlehem Chapel. (A national flag and a personal flag had already been posted in the chapel.) The rest entered the chapel and took positions around the casket, which the body bearers had placed on a catafalque. The first relief of the honor guard, one officer and four enlisted men, was posted and the body bearers were dismissed. The Very Reverend Francis B. Sayre, Jr., dean of the Washington Na-
tional Cathedral, then conducted a brief prayer service, after which the family and other mourners left the chapel.
When the chapel had been cleared, it was opened to the public and remained open during the night and through the day of 30 March until shortly before 1500. Despite unseasonably cold weather, people waited in long lines outside the cathedral for the opportunity to pass through the chapel and pay their respects.
Plans for 30 March called for a ceremony of departure at the cathedral in midafternoon. General Eisenhower's casket was then to be taken in a motor cortege to Constitution Avenue at 16th Street, N.W., and transferred from the hearse to a caisson. The military escort, assembled nearby, was to lead the full procession to the Capitol. After an arrival ceremony, the general's body was to lie in state in the rotunda, which was to be open to the public until 1330 on 31 March.
The departure ceremony at the cathedral began at 1500 on the 30th; the participating troops had taken their positions half an hour earlier. (Table 40) Outside the Bethlehem Chapel entrance were the escort commander; the special honor guard made up of the chairman and members of the joint Chiefs of Staff and the commandant of the Coast Guard; the U.S. Coast Guard Band, consisting of one officer and forty-five musicians; and a joint honor cordon, one officer and eleven enlisted men, that lined the steps and walkway. Inside, the national color detail, the personal flag bearer, the chaplain, and a joint body bearer team waited
Diagram 118. Departure ceremony, Washington National Cathedral.
to form a procession that would accompany General Eisenhower's casket out of the cathedral.
Participating in the departure ceremony were President and Mrs. Nixon and their daughter Tricia, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, chiefs of state and heads of government from foreign nations, cabinet members, justices of the Supreme Court, the dean of the diplomatic corps, state and territorial governors, and the honorary pallbearers. The last of these and members of the Eisenhower family took their positions outside the cathedral a few minutes before the ceremony began. (Diagram 118)
In the Bethlehem Chapel the joint guard of honor was dismissed and the body bearers posted themselves at the casket. At 1500 the procession began to move toward the cathedral entrance, led by the national color detail, which was followed by the clergy, the body bearers with the casket, and the personal flag bearer.
The body bearers halted at the door; the honor cordon presented arms and
the Coast Guard Band sounded ruffles and flourishes and played "Hail to the Chief." As the band began "Onward Christian Soldiers" the procession resumed its march to the hearse. When the casket had been placed in the hearse the band ceased playing and the honor cordon ordered arms, concluding the ceremony. The Eisenhower family and others who were to travel in the funeral cortege returned to their cars.
The cortege proceeded north on Wisconsin Avenue, east on Woodley Road, south on 34th Street, southeast over Massachusetts Avenue, then along Rock Creek Parkway. Turning off the parkway onto Virginia Avenue, it continued to Constitution Avenue and on Constitution to its intersection with 16th Street. Traveling at twenty miles an hour, it reached the site of the casket transfer ceremony in about twenty minutes.
Long before the cortege began its journey from the cathedral, troops scheduled to participate in the main funeral procession had assembled along Constitution Avenue. Ten minutes before the arrival of the cortege, the caisson was driven to its ceremonial position on the right side of Constitution Avenue at its intersection with 16th Street. In column behind the caisson stood a new joint body bearer
team, national color detail, and personal flag bearer, and a groom with a caparisoned horse. In order to keep the ceremonial area clear, a security cordon of Army troops lined both sides of Constitution Avenue, stretching a block in both directions from 16th Street.
On Constitution Avenue from 15th Street to 12th Street, the military escort units were in formation for the main funeral procession. There were three bands and seventeen companies, precisely the number specified in the current directive governing the conduct of a State Funeral. The U.S. Army Band, the U.S. Navy Band, and the U.S. Air Force Band each had a leader, a drum major, and ninety musicians. Of the companies, there was one each from the four military academies; one each from the active Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard; one was a composite company of servicewomen; and seven represented all the reserve components of the five uniformed services. Each unit numbered four officers and eighty-five enlisted men, except the company of servicewomen which comprised five officers and seventy-six enlisted members. Also preparing to march
with the military escort were the national commanders, or their representatives, of eight veterans' organizations.
A joint honor cordon of troops from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force lined both sides of Constitution Avenue from 15th Street eastward to Delaware Avenue opposite the Capitol, which was the complete route of the main funeral procession. Each of these four services furnished for the cordon four officers and 160 men. From west to east, the services occupied equal segments of the route in the reverse order of their seniority, that is, the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Army. (Table 41)
As the cortege reached the casket transfer site, the leading cars carrying the escort commander, special honor guard, honorary pallbearers, and clergy came to a standstill on Constitution Avenue just east of 16th Street. The hearse, immediately behind, stopped parallel to and on the left of the caisson. The rest of the cortege formed a column behind the hearse. (Diagram 119)
The escort commander, special honor guard, honorary pallbearers, and clergy left their cars and took their places around the hearse and caisson. The remaining members of the cortege stayed in their automobiles. When the participants were in position, the site control officer, Capt. John R. Thomas of the 3d Infantry, gave the order to present arms. As all other military participants saluted, the joint body bearer team marched to the rear of the hearse, removed the casket, and carried it to the caisson. No music was played during the transfer. When the casket was secured to the caisson and the body bearers had taken their marching positions behind it, the site control officer gave the command to order arms. Those who had taken part in the ceremony then returned to their automobiles. The national color detail, at the same time, moved in front of the clergy, and the personal flag bearer and the groom with the caparisoned horse took positions behind the caisson. As General O'Malley, the escort commander, walked to the head of the military escort, the troops came to attention and those bearing weapons shouldered arms. The main funeral procession then moved off toward the Capitol in normal cadence which was meted on the muffled drums of the three bands. (Diagram 120)
The street cordon saluted in ripples as the procession went by, each man presenting arms when the national colors were twelve steps from his position and ordering arms after the car bearing Vice President Agnew passed. When the caisson reached the midpoint of the journey, twenty-one Air Force F-4 Phantom jets flew over the procession in several wedge formations, with one plane missing from each formation to symbolize the loss of a leader.
On reaching the Delaware Avenue intersection, designated elements of the military escort turned onto the East Plaza where they would participate in the arrival ceremony. (Table 42) These included the commander of troops and his staff, the Army Band, and the right-hand platoon of each of the five companies from the active Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. All
CASKET IS TRANSFERRED TO THE CAISSON FOR PROCESSION TO THE CAPITOL
other escort units continued along Constitution Avenue, turned left onto 1st Street and then onto D Street, and proceeded to a designated dispersal area on Louisiana Avenue.
The escort commander meanwhile turned right off Constitution Avenue onto a Capitol grounds access road opposite New Jersey Avenue, where he waited for the cortege. When the head of the cortege reached the access road, the special honor guard, national color detail, clergy, caisson and body bearers, personal flag bearer, groom and caparisoned horse, and the car carrying President Nixon turned onto the road and halted. The remaining vehicles turned at Delaware Avenue and proceeded to the East Plaza. All these cars except those bearing the honorary pallbearers stopped at the east steps to discharge their passengers, who then entered the rotunda to take positions for the arrival ceremony. A reception committee consisting of members of Congress and of the diplomatic corps, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and the three service secretaries was already present in the rotunda. The honorary pallbearers were driven to the Law Library entrance, where escort officers waited to guide them to ceremonial positions at the top of the steps just outside the rotunda. (Diagram 121)
Already in position for the arrival ceremony was a joint honor cordon of one officer and sixty men lining the steps that led to the rotunda. When the participating escort units reached the plaza, they countermarched to their ceremonial positions facing the Capitol, with the Army Band at the right of the formation and the platoons on line to the left, in order of seniority of their respective services. The escort commander and elements of the cortege on the access road then moved to positions on the plaza for the arrival ceremony. (Diagram 122)
After all participants were in position the commander of troops, Col. Robert M. Daugherty, Commanding Officer, 3d Infantry, brought the escort units and honor cordon to present arms. The Army Band then sounded ruffles and flourishes and played "Hail to the Chief." At the first note of music, the saluting battery from the 3d Infantry, located on the grounds across Constitution Avenue from the Capitol, delivered a 21-gun salute, firing the rounds at five-second intervals. Following the salute, the Army Band played a hymn, "The Palms."
As the hymn began, the body bearer team lifted the casket from the caisson. The procession, which would take General Eisenhower's body up the east steps of
Diagram 120. Order of march, main procession.
Diagram 121. Route of march, main procession.
Diagram 122. Arrival ceremony at the Capitol.
CAISSON ARRIVES AT THE CAPITOL
the Capitol and into the rotunda, formed with General O'Malley in the lead followed by the special honor guard, the national color detail, the clergy, the body bearers with the casket, the personal flag bearer, the Eisenhower family, and President Nixon and his party. The honorary pallbearers, who were standing at the top of the steps, fell in at the rear of the procession.
The clergy stopped at the foot of the Lincoln catafalque, which had been set up in the center of the rotunda. The national color detail, the body bearers with the casket, and the personal flag bearer moved to the right in a semicircle, then marched to the catafalque. Meanwhile, the Eisenhower family and others in the procession were guided to positions along the circumference of the room. (Diagram 123) The body bearers then placed the casket on the catafalque and removed a clear plastic cover which had protected the casket and the flag draping it from a light rain that had fallen during the main funeral procession. The first relief of a joint guard of honor, one officer and four enlisted men, was posted at the bier, and the body bearers were dismissed.
At this point President Nixon delivered a eulogy. When he finished, an Army
enlisted man entered the rotunda with a wreath which the President, assisted by the wreath bearer, placed at the bier. After the clergy delivered the final benediction, the Eisenhower family left the hall by the east entrance. President Nixon then led the remaining mourners out of the room.
At 1800 the rotunda was opened to the public and from then until midnight some 2,000 people passed by General Eisenhower's bier each hour. In the early
Diagram 123. Formation in the rotunda.
PRESIDENT NIXON DELIVERS A EULOGY IN THE ROTUNDA
hours of 31 March the crowd dwindled to about a hundred an hour, but at dawn it increased and continued to grow until the doors were closed at 1330.
Ceremonies scheduled for 31 March were to begin at 1600 with the movement of General Eisenhower's casket from the Capitol to the Washington National Cathedral for the funeral service at 1640. Following this service, the body was to be taken to Union Station and placed aboard a special funeral train for transportation to Abilene, Kansas.
A half hour before the departure ceremony was scheduled to start, participating troops took their positions at the Capitol. (Table 43) Inside, a national color detail, personal flag bearer, chaplain, and joint body bearer team were preparing to form the procession that would take General Eisenhower's casket from the rotunda to a hearse on the East Plaza. Outside the U.S. Coast Guard Band, one officer and forty-five musicians, formed on the south side of the plaza at the foot of the east steps. A joint honor cordon, one officer and sixty enlisted men, lined the steps. In line with the northern rank of the honor cordon on the plaza beside the east steps were members of the joint Chiefs of Staff and the commandant of
STANDS WATCH WHILE BODY
the Coast Guard, in position to serve again as the special honor guard. Standing with these officials was General O'Malley, the escort commander. Other officials and the Eisenhower family, scheduled to arrive a few minutes before the departure ceremony began, would stand on the plaza opposite the special honor guard. The honorary pallbearers were in two ranks next to the family group. Farther out on the plaza, across from the center of the steps, was the hearse. To its front and rear were the remaining cars that would make up the cortege. (Diagram 124)
At 1600, after the Eisenhower family and the remaining dignitaries had arrived and taken their places on the plaza, the joint guard of honor was dismissed from its vigil at the bier. The body bearers lifted the casket from the catafalque and placed it on a movable bier. The national color detail then led the way out the east entrance of the rotunda, followed by the chaplain, the body bearers with the casket, and the personal flag bearer. (General Andrew J. Goodpaster took the place of Dr. Milton S. Eisenhower as honorary pallbearer. Just before the afternoon ceremonies Dr. Eisenhower became ill and was taken to Walter Reed Army Medical Center.)
As the national color detail appeared outside the east entrance of the Capitol, the honor cordon presented arms. The procession halted when the body bearers with the casket reached the head of the steps. At that moment the Coast Guard Band sounded ruffles and flourishes and played "Hail to the Chief" and "Faith of Our Fathers." During the hymn the body bearers lifted the casket from the bier and the procession resumed, moving down the steps, through the honor cordon, and past the family and dignitaries on the plaza, to the hearse. After the casket was placed in the hearse, the band ceased playing and the honor cordon
Diagram 124. Departure ceremony at the Capitol.
ordered arms. The Eisenhower family, escort commander, special honor guard, honorary pallbearers, clergy, and officials then went to their cars and, with a Metropolitan Police escort, departed for Washington National Cathedral.
Troops participating in the arrival ceremony at the cathedral meanwhile had taken up positions at the north transept entrance. (Table 44) The U.S. Marine Band stood in formation on the green across the driveway from the entrance. A joint honor cordon, one officer and twenty-two enlisted men, lined all but the top steps of the entrance; the top steps would later be cordoned by the honorary pallbearers. On the walk at the foot of the steps waited a national color detail, personal flag bearer, the clergy, and a joint body bearer team.
At the same time, persons attending the funeral service were entering the cathedral in order to be in their places before the cortege arrived. A joint service usher detail of 12 officers and 125 enlisted men seated them according to a predetermined plan. Among the dignitaries were the chiefs of state, heads of government, or other representatives of many nations. Former President and Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson were also present; former President Harry S. Truman was unable to attend.
As the last of the guests were entering the cathedral, the cortege completed the journey from the Capitol, moving via Constitution Avenue, Virginia Avenue, Rock Creek Parkway, Massachusetts Avenue, 34th Street, and Woodley Road. When the motor column entered the cathedral grounds through the north tran-
CASKET IS CARRIED DOWN STEPS OF THE CAPITOL THROUGH THE HONOR CORDON
sept gate, the honor cordon came to attention. At the cathedral the procession stopped so that the hearse was opposite the entrance.
The Eisenhower family, and all others in the cortege except General O'Malley, the chaplain, and the honorary pallbearers, immediately entered the cathedral and were ushered to their seats. Afterward, the honorary pallbearers were guided to ceremonial positions at the top of the steps and General O'Malley and the chaplain took their places on the walk at the foot of the steps.
When everyone was in place, the site control officer signaled the body bearers, who moved to the rear of the hearse. The honor cordon then presented arms and the Marine Band sounded ruffles and flourishes and played "Hail to the Chief." As the hymn "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" was begun, the body bearers removed the casket from the hearse. General O'Malley led the way, the national color detail, the clergy, the body bearers with the casket, and the personal flag bearer followed, through the honor cordon and honorary pallbearers into the cathedral. The pallbearers joined the procession as the personal flag bearer passed them. (Diagram 125)
Inside the cathedral the casket was placed on a catafalque, and the national
colors and personal flag were posted nearby in holders. The color and flag bearers and the joint body bearer team then moved to the rear of the cathedral, while the escort commander and the honorary pallbearers took their seats.
The Very Reverend Francis B. Sayre, Jr., delivered the opening prayer. The Reverend Edward R. Elson, Chaplain of the Senate, then conducted a service based on Psalms 46 and 121, which were favorites of the former President. (Dr. Elson, while he was minister of the National Presbyterian Church, had baptized General Eisenhower in 1953.) The benediction was pronounced by the Right Reverend William F. Creighton, bishop of Washington.
At the conclusion of the service, General O'Malley, the special honor guard, and the honorary pallbearers were first to leave the cathedral, moving to the north transept entrance for the departure ceremony. (Table 45) The escort commander and the special honor guard occupied positions on the walk at the foot of the steps, while the honorary pallbearers lined both sides of the bottom section of steps. The joint honor cordon had shifted during the funeral service and now lined the remaining steps. The Marine Band had maintained its formation across the driveway from the entrance, and the cortege vehicles remained on the drive, with the hearse opposite the cathedral entrance.
After the escort commander and other participating officials had left the cathedral, the body bearer team, national color detail, and personal flag bearer
Diagram 125. Arrival ceremony, Washington National Cathedral.
FUNERAL SERVICE IN WASHINGTON NATIONAL CATHEDRAL
came forward. The national color detail took up the colors and then led the way up the aisle to the entrance, followed by the clergy, the body bearers with the casket, and the personal flag bearer. Members of the Eisenhower family joined the procession as it moved up the aisle.
When the national color detail passed through the doorway the honor cordon presented arms. The body bearers with the casket halted at the door; the Marine Band sounded ruffles and flourishes and played "Hail to the Chief." As the hymn "Lead Kindly Light" was begun, the procession resumed, and the body bearers carried the casket to the hearse. The Eisenhower family and others who had come out of the cathedral observed the last movements of the procession from the bottom section of the entrance steps. After the body bearers placed the casket in the hearse, the band stopped playing and the honor cordon ordered arms. Members of the cortege then went to their cars, and the motor column left for Union Station. (Diagram 126)
In preparation for ceremonies at Union Station, a joint street honor cordon, composed of two officers and sixty-two enlisted men from each of the services, was stationed along Delaware Avenue from Constitution Avenue to the station's semicircular plaza. The cordon then stretched around the southeast arc of the plaza to the east entrance of the station. (Table 46) Each service manned a separate segment of the route. In a nearby parking lot the Army Band was in formation while
PROCESSION LEAVES THE CATHEDRAL
the 3d Infantry saluting battery waited on grounds west of Delaware Avenue. (Diagram 127) At the east entrance a national color detail, personal flag bearer, and joint body bearer team were at hand to take General Eisenhower's casket to the train in procession. A joint honor cordon of 1 officer and 135 enlisted men lined both sides of the route that the procession would take to the funeral car on Track 17.
The cortege arrived at Union Station about 1800, via Constitution Avenue and turning left onto Delaware Avenue to pass through the joint street honor cordon. As the hearse entered Delaware Avenue, the 3d Infantry battery began firing a 21-gun salute, spacing the rounds so that the last was fired as the hearse stopped at the east entrance of the station. To assist in the timing of the salute, a vehicle carrying a representative of the battery escorted the cortege over Delaware Avenue and established the proper pace. As the procession moved through the street cordon, each cordon member presented arms when the hearse was within twelve steps of his position and ordered arms after the last vehicle had passed.
At the station, all cortege vehicles except the limousine carrying Mrs. Eisenhower were directed to parking places outside the east entrance. Her car was
Diagram 126. Departure ceremony, Washington National Cathedral.
driven to the diplomat's entrance near the parking lot at the far east end of the station and proceeded through the concourse to Track 17. There Mrs. Eisenhower left the car to await the procession.
The other participants who had arrived with the cortege 'were guided from their vehicles to positions for the departure ceremony. The body bearer team, at the same time, marched to the rear of the hearse. The honor cordon lining the way to the train presented arms, and the band sounded ruffles and flourishes and played "Hail to the Chief" and "Army Blue." During the last selection, the body bearers removed the casket from the hearse and placed it on a movable bier. The procession then formed for the march to the train.
Leading the way was the escort commander, General O'Malley. Behind him were the special honor guard, national color detail, clergy, body bearers with the casket, personal flag bearer, honorary pallbearers, members of the Eisenhower family, President Nixon and his party, and other mourners. (Diagram 128) Arriving at Track 17, the procession stopped on the platform at the side entrance of the funeral car and the casket was lifted inside. (Diagram 129)
The funeral train was made up of a three-unit diesel locomotive and ten cars. The car that would carry the body of General Eisenhower to Kansas was a baggage car, specially prepared for the purpose. There were two crew cars, a car for ceremonial troops making the trip to Abilene, a business car, dining car,
Diagram 127. Positions of street honor cordon and saluting battery, Union Station.
Diagram 128. Departure ceremony, Union Station.
Diagram 129. Trainside formation, Union Station.
lounge car, and three cars for the Eisenhower family and friends. Mrs. Eisenhower rode in the last car, the Santa Fe, which had often been used by General Eisenhower when he was President. Besides the Eisenhower family and close friends, some two dozen persons boarded the train to accompany the general's body to Abilene: railway officials, secret service men, and military officials from the Military District of Washington and the Fifth Army. Ceremonial troops consisted of one officer, eight body bearers, a national color detail of three, and a personal flag bearer; during the journey these troops would act as a guard of honor at the casket.
All passengers were aboard by 1840 and the train left Washington a few minutes later. Using Chesapeake and Ohio, Baltimore and Ohio, Norfolk and Western, and Union Pacific tracks, the funeral train passed through seven states-Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri-to reach its destination in Kansas. The governor of each of these states was advised beforehand of the points and scheduled times at which the train would enter and leave his state, and his help in expediting passage of the train was requested. He was also asked in behalf of the Eisenhower family not to inform the public of the train's route in order to prevent such accidents as had occurred when crowds gathered along the tracks during the movement of Senator Robert F. Kennedy's funeral train from New York to Washington the previous year.
The route of the train nevertheless became known, at least partly as the result of disclosures by train company officials. Either equipped with this knowledge or able to anticipate the progress of the train once it was on its way, people gathered along the track at many points. Stops ranging from ten minutes to an hour were made at several stations for crew changes and train service; the longest were at Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Kansas City. At Mrs. Eisenhower's request, while in Cincinnati the funeral car was marked on the outside with black bunting and flags so that it would be easily identifiable to those watching the train's passage. Around 0645 on 2 April, after more than thirty hours, the funeral train pulled into a siding near the Union Pacific Station in Abilene.
A little more than a month before General Eisenhower's death, Headquarters, Fifth U.S. Army, located at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, had published a final version of OPLAN KANSAS under which the funeral ceremonies for the former President would be carried out in Abilene. In accordance with this plan, a provisional detachment, commanded by the deputy commanding general of the Fifth Army and manned by troops from various units and installations within the Fifth Army
Area, was set up on 29 March to complete arrangements and then to conduct the ceremonies scheduled for 2 April in Abilene. Joining this Fifth Army group on 1 April to fulfill the responsibility of the Commanding General, Military District of Washington, for co-ordinating all funeral arrangements were Paul C. Miller, Chief of Ceremonies and Special Events, Military District of Washington, and a small staff. Also arriving from Washington by air on the same day were a joint body bearer team, national color detail, and personal flag bearer, who would replace their respective groups traveling with the funeral train, and about fifty officers and men from all the uniformed services who would serve as the joint honor guard, firing party, and bugler.
As originally planned, the total troop requirement for the Abilene ceremonies —administrative, support, and ceremonial— stood at 2,419. This number later increased when the need for more escort officers arose. In addition, eleven civilians had active administrative roles.
The Army troops to be used accounted for most of the total, numbering some 2,049. Active Army forces were supplied by Headquarters, Fifth Army; Fort Riley, Kansas; Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; the Military District of Washington; and the Army Photographic Agency in Washington. Other Army troops were from the 89th Division (U.S. Army Reserve) and the Kansas National Guard. The 9th Marine District supplied 114 marines; the Ninth Naval District, 116 Navy men; and Forbes Air Force Base, 116 airmen. The 24 Coast Guardsmen who participated were from Washington, although they were under the direction of the Second Coast Guard District. All troops from Washington were billeted in Abilene. Active forces from within the Fifth Army Area, which arrived on 31 March, were billeted at Fort Riley while the Reserve forces stayed in their own quarters.
The opening ceremony at Abilene was to take place at 1000 on 2 April, when General Eisenhower's casket was to be removed from the funeral train. The casket was then to be taken in procession through Abilene to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library over a route about twelve blocks long. The funeral service was to be held on the steps of the library (inside in a small auditorium if the weather was bad) and conducted jointly by the former Army Chief of Chaplains, the Reverend Luther D. Miller of Washington National Cathedral; the Reverend Robert H. MacAskill of the First Presbyterian Church in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; and the Reverend Dean Miller of the Palm Desert Community Church in Palm Desert, California. Following the service, General Eisenhower's casket was to be carried to the nearby Place of Meditation where Canon Miller was to conduct the burial rites. The Abilene ceremonies were scheduled to end around noon.
On the morning of 2 April, before the funeral train reached Abilene, an Army cordon of three officers and sixty-six men surrounded the railroad siding where the train would stop. The joint guard of honor also reported to the site before the
train's arrival in order to be ready to take post in the funeral car, where General Eisenhower's body would lie until 1000. (Table 47)
When the train arrived, the Fifth Army mortuary officer inspected the funeral car to insure that everything was in order. The new guard of honor took post immediately afterward, relieving the troops who had stood watch during the journey. Admission to the funeral car was restricted to persons invited by the Eisenhower family.
The troops participating in the opening ceremony at the funeral car assembled at 0900. (Table 48) Among them were Lt. Gen. Vernon P. Mock, the Fifth
Diagram 130. Formation for departure ceremony, Union Pacific Station, Abilene, Kansas.
Army commander, who would act as escort commander throughout the day; the special honor guard composed of five general or flag officers from all the uniformed services; the Fort Riley Band; and the body bearer team, national color detail, and personal flag bearer who had been flown in from Washington to relieve their respective counterparts on the train.
On Abilene's North 3d Street, a block and a half north of where the train stood, the military escort units assembled in march order facing east, the fiat direction the procession would take. These units included the commander of troops and his staff of five; the Fifth Army Band; a company each of the active Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force; and a company each of Army Reserve and National Guard troops. (Diagram 130)
During the last half hour before 1000, the honorary pallbearers who had participated in the Washington ceremonies assumed positions at the door of the funeral car; just before the beginning of the ceremony, the members of the Eisenhower family took their places. President Nixon, Mrs. Nixon, and their daughter Tricia had arrived from Washington at the airport in Salina, west of Abilene, traveled to Abilene by helicopter, and to the train by car.
Promptly at 1000, with all participants in position, the body bearers that had traveled in the train from Washington brought General Eisenhower's casket to the door of the funeral car, where they halted.
CASKET IS CARRIED FROM THE FUNERAL TRAIN, ABILENE, KANSAS
The Fort Riley Band played ruffles and flourishes and "Hail to the Chief." When the band began the hymn "God of Our Fathers," the casket was handed to the body bearers on the platform, who carried it to a hearse. After the casket was in the hearse, the Eisenhower family, Presidential party, honorary pallbearers, special honor guard, and other mourners entered automobiles which were already in procession. At the same time, the escort commander, General Mock, the national color detail, the body bearer team, and the personal flag bearer took their marching positions. The cortege then moved north on Mulberry Street to join the military escort. (Table 49) General Mock led the cortege for a short distance, then turned off and proceeded by a separate route to his position at the head of the escort. (See Diagram 130.)
The procession followed North 3d Street for three blocks eastward, turned south on Buckeye Avenue as far as South 4th Street, and then turned east again on South 4th to enter the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library grounds. (Diagram 131) The route was lined on both sides by an Army street honor cordon of 10 officers and 720 enlisted men.
As the procession formed and moved to the library grounds, a toll was played
PROCESSION LEAVES UNION PACIFIC STATION, ABILENE, KANSAS
on the carillon in the Place of Meditation, the bell sounding at five-second intervals. When the military escort reached the grounds, the escort commander, the commander of troops and his staff, the Fifth Army Band, each company commander and guidon bearer, and the left platoon of each company turned east on South 4th Street to proceed to the library building. The rest of the marching units continued south then made westward and northward turns to return to the railroad station, where the troops were released. (See Diagram 131.)
The escort units marched to positions on the Eisenhower Museum grounds opposite and facing the library steps. There the Fifth Army Band would play, and the troop units would render their salutes through the remainder of the ceremonies. (Diagram 132) The cortege halted on South 4th Street with the hearse at the walkway to the library. Already in seats on the library mall facing the steps were some 500 invited guests. Also in position before the arrival of the procession was a joint honor cordon, which lined the walkway from the street to the library steps and then continued west from the library to the Place of Meditation. (Table 50)
After the cortege arrived at the library, the Eisenhower family and other participants left their automobiles and took positions for the ceremony. The Fifth Army Band sounded ruffles and flourishes and played "Hail to the Chief." When the band began the hymn "A Mighty Fortress is Our God," the body bearers re
Diagram 131. Route of march, funeral procession, Abilene.
moved the casket from the hearse. The procession made its way to the library steps, with General Mock, the escort commander, leading the way, and followed by the special honor guard, national color detail, clergy, body bearers and casket, personal flag bearer, members of the Eisenhower family, the Presidential party, other mourners, and the honorary pallbearers in that order. Former President Johnson, who flew from Texas to Salina, had meanwhile joined the official party.
When the body bearers reached the top of the steps, they placed the casket on a locked movable bier and dressed the flag that draped the casket. The national color detail and personal flag bearer moved to either side of the casket, where they remained throughout the funeral service. After the Eisenhower family and others in the procession had been taken to seats behind the casket, the body bearers left the casket and went inside the library. (Diagram 133)
The three clergymen then conducted a religious service for the former President. During the service, a gust of wind characteristic of the Kansas plains blew the flag from the casket. It was quickly retrieved and put back by nearby military officers. Two body bearers then returned to hold the flag in place during the remainder of the service.
Diagram 132. Formation, arrival ceremony, Eisenhower Library, Abilene.
At the conclusion of the funeral rites, the other body bearers returned to the library steps, and the team lifted the casket from the bier. At that point, the military escort troop units presented arms, and the Fifth Army Band sounded ruffles and flourishes and played the national anthem, "Army Blue," and the hymn "Lead Kindly Light." At the first note of "Army Blue," General Mock began the march to the Place of Meditation. The procession formed behind him in the same order that was followed when the casket was brought from the hearse to the library.
Diagram 133. Funeral service, Eisenhower Library, Abilene.
Because the chapel was small, those attending the burial service, besides the Eisenhower family and the ceremonial participants, were limited to the Presidential party and eighty other persons designated by the family. Whereas the funeral service had been covered by television, the burial rites were not. An audio system had been installed, however, which allowed the public to hear. the final proceedings.
When the procession reached the Place of Meditation, the escort commander, special honor guard, clergy, national color detail, and personal flag bearer entered
Diagram 134. Burial service, Place of Meditation, Abilene.
TAKE UP THE CASKET after service in front of the Dwight D.
and moved directly to their ceremonial positions around the crypt. (Table 51) The body bearers followed next, placed the casket on a movable bier, and continued to the crypt, where the casket was put on the lowering device. The personal flag bearer, honorary pallbearers, the Eisenhower family, Presidential party, and invited guests then entered in that order for the burial service. (Diagram 134)
When everyone was in position, the former Army Chief of Chaplains, Canon Miller, read the burial rites; he paused, however, before pronouncing the benediction. At the pause, the site control officer for the chapel signaled the battery of six howitzers manned by two officers and thirty-six enlisted men from Fort Riley to deliver a 21-gun salute. The battery, in position just east of the library, fired the rounds at five-second intervals. (See Diagram 132.) The benediction was then pronounced. On the grounds just outside the chapel, the firing party discharged three volleys on a signal from the site control officer. Immediately after the last volley, the bugler blew taps. While the Fifth Army Band played "West Point Alma Mater," the body bearers folded the flag that had draped the casket of the former President. One of the bearers handed the flag to the escort commander,
BURIAL RITES AT THE CRYPT IN THE PLACE OF MEDITATION
General Mock. At that moment, on a signal relayed by the site control officer, the band stopped playing. General Mock then presented the flag to Mrs. Eisenhower, concluding the final rites for General Eisenhower. As the band played "America the Beautiful" and followed it by "The Old Rugged Cross," the Eisenhower family and the Presidential party were escorted from the chapel to their cars.