DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Among the commemorations in Dallas on Friday there was a special remembrance held for J.D. Tippit. He was the Dallas police officer who was Lee Harvey Oswald’s second victim on this day 50 years ago.
The event was a tribute for a man who sacrificed his life trying to capture a presidential assassin.
Police officers usually just observe candlelight vigils around crime scenes, but Friday night they took part in one of their own. It was an idea they got from a grieving First Lady decades ago.
“Jacqueline Kennedy told Marie Tippit that she would light a candle for the sacrifice that both their husbands made while on duty,” explained Dallas Police Association president Ron Pinkston.
The memorial service for Officer Tippit included his widow, Marie, and their family. J.D. Tippit was a veteran patrolman who encountered Oswald in Oak Cliff and was shot and killed less than an hour after the assassination.
Marie Tippit reminded the hundreds of officers attending the event of her husband’s important role in history. “He stopped Oswald and as a result he was killed by the killer of the President and consequently that led to the arrest of Oswald sooner.”
Dallas police Chief David Brown presented the 85-year-old widow with an American flag. The gesture is traditionally made to all fallen Dallas officers’ families, but was somehow overlooked when J.D. Tippit died in 1963.
“Today we are righting that forgotten tradition,” the chief said.
Tippit’s widow left with the flag and the reassurance that her husband will never be an afterthought when the city remembers its darkest day.