John F. Kennedy grave site restoration in progress

October 31st, 2010 - 8:02 pm ICT by Pen Men At Work  

jfk Restoration of the grave-site of President John F Kennedy at the Arlington National Cemetery has effectively been taken up by the Knights of Columbus. The work began on Thursday, the 28th of October, and should take about a week according to reports.

The decision was taken after a Knight, Patric Korten, from the foundation, visited the cemetery and could not read the inscribed inaugural 1961 speech of the president which had been inscribed near the memorial. The knight, who tried to read the famous speech “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your company”, realized that it was almost fading and quite incomprehensible.

Thus, officials of the Knights foundation contacted the Arlington National Cemetery and arranged for a fund of $6000, for the restoration work. Patric Korten mentioned that since President Kennedy was the nation’s first catholic President and was a member of the group’s Bunker Hill Council 62 in Charleston, Mass, right from 1943 to 1963 ill the time when he demised, he was a brother knight, and they wanted to fondly remember him and also maintain the memories of his wonderful speeches.

A conservator named Gordon Ponsford, who has been involved in several similar restoration projects, has been hired by the cemetery officials. Ponsford, 51 of Acworth Ga, has worked in 27 projects in the last 22 years. Some of his distinguished restoration works have been at the Rough Riders Memorial Cemetery, the Confederate Memorial, and Mc McClellan Gate.

Stone mason John Everett Benson, who had inscribed the original work in 1965, was invited at the premises of the JFK cemetery, and was very nostalgic as he recited some of the words from the famous speech. On Thursday, he gave a few pointers to the appointed restoration and conservator, Ponsford, on stone carving. There were at least a hundred school children and a few Italian tourists at the site, and they were lucky enough to get the opportunity to listen to what John Benson had to say. John Benson, who was all of 25 years of age when he first engraved the speech, has many such restoration works to his credit. He has carved out President Franklin D Roosevelt’s quotations at his burial in Tidal Basin, amongst other works.

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