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by James A. Marples


It has been 60 years since President John F. Kennedy was gunned down November 22, 1963 in Dealey Plaza in Dallas. For many people, all they have to remember him by is history books and newsreels. However, John F. Kennedy was one of the last truly community-oriented Presidents.
Most people realize that he was Roman Catholic, so it isn’t much of a surprise that he belonged to the Knights of Columbus. But, fewer people realize that JFK was a member of the B.P.O.E. Elks Lodge since he was age 21. I likewise joined both groups.I joined the Elks Lodge in Superior, Nebraska.  In addition, Kennedy was a member of the Ancient Order of Hiberians, as well as the Rotary Club. I, myself, joined Rotary International years ago. His brothers weren’t so “fraternal minded”.
I think JFK’s human interactions with the common man is what made him stand out. Presidents Warren Harding, FDR, Truman, and JFK were all Elks. And, I am mindful of our motto: “An Elk Is Not Forgotten”.  That is more than a lodge sentiment.  That is a heartfelt sentiment worldwide. JFK will be truly missed for years to come.

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