Columbia, SC (WLTX) - One Midlands native that was a pallbearer for President John F. Kennedy's funeral remembers the former commander-in-chief's death and talked about what he anticipates with the expected release of classified documents related to the assassination.
November 22, 1963 is a day Jim Felder will never forget. Felder was serving in the Army and was living in Washington D.C. at the time while on leave.
"I was shocked. At first, I couldn’t believe it. Outside were these ladies standing around this taxi crying and I went over asking what was going on. Old cab driver said to me, 'Well they shot Kennedy,' and I said, 'What do you mean they shot Kennedy? He's in Dallas today,' and He said, 'Yup, that's where he got it," explained Felder.
Following that moment, Felder was called into to take care of JFK’s body. Felder was the head of the detail that carried John F Kennedy's Body during the thirty-fifth President's funeral.
After President Johnson was sworn in as President of the United States, Air Force One flew back to Washington where Felder was there to take care of the body.
"President Johnson was already on his way back to Washington with President Kennedy's body. That was the beginning for me and for the next four days, the body was never out of my sight. I witness the autopsy. I witnessed the embalming. The changing of the casket," said Felder.
The news shook the nation but Felder knew he had a job to do.
"His death shocked me initially but I had to put that aside because I knew what we had to do and I knew it had to be done flawlessly," explained Felder.
On Saturday, October 21st, President Trump tweeted out announcing that he would release classified documents from the JFK assassination pending his approval.
Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 21, 2017
Over fifty years Felder has wondered what new information there could be about the case.
"They may be able to tie Oswald to Cuba, to Mexico, his travels, and that sort of thing. I don't expect a lot of new details in the ten percent of the documents that have not been released," said Felder.
He hopes the new information will help end some of the conspiracies.
"I hope it will eliminate or solve or eradicate some of those theories that are out there but you won't end it forever. There's just some people that live on that kind of stuff. Hopefully it will clear the minds of some people who didn't have a full understanding of what happened," explained Felder.
The documents are expected to be released Thursday, October 26th.
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