On November 26, 1963, The New York Herald Tribune published “It’s an Honor,” one of the most memorable newspaper columns of all time.
Jimmy Breslin tells the story of President John Kennedy’s funeral from the perspective of Clifton Pollard, a gravedigger at Arlington National Cemetery.
This is how Breslin’s story begins:
“Clifton Pollard was pretty sure he was going to be working on Sunday, so when he woke up at 9 a.m., in his three-room apartment on Corcoran Street, he put on khaki overalls before going into the kitchen for breakfast. His wife, Hettie, made bacon and eggs for him. Pollard was in the middle of eating them when he received the phone call he had been expecting. It was from Mazo Kawalchik, who is the foreman of the gravediggers at Arlington National Cemetery, which is where Pollard works for a living. ‘Polly, could you please be here by eleven o’clock this morning?’ Kawalchik asked.