Wreathlaying held for Officer J.D. Tippit on the 50 Year Anniversary of His Death

Today marks a dark day in America’s history. On November 22, 1963, President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

Though that day represents a moment that touched people across the nation, it hit close to home for the Dallas Police Department and Police Officer J.D. Tippit’s family. Just minutes after President Kennedy was assassinated, the suspected gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, shot and killed Officer Tippit, who had stopped his cruiser on 10th Street to question him. Officer Tippit left behind his wife, Marie, and three children. In May 2008, Marie Tippit had the opportunity to visit the Memorial and see her late husband’s name engraved on its marble walls.

Memorial Fund Chairman & CEO Craig Floyd and Marie Tippit in 2008

A few years ago, fellow Dallas officer, Detective James Leavelle, visited the Memorial for the first time to see his friend Officer Tippit’s name. Detective Leavelle was handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald, escorting him through the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters, when Oswald was shot and killed by Jack Ruby. In June 2011, Mr. Leavelle spoke at the Museum’s first Witness to History event. Also in attendance at that event was Clint Hill, the Secret Service Agent in charge of the first lady, Mrs. Kennedy. Agent Hill can be seen jumping onto the back of the limousine to protect President and Mrs. Kennedy in the iconic photo taken right after President Kennedy’s murder.

This October, the National Law Enforcement Museum acquired an important piece of history—the crime scene photos of Officer J.D. Tippit’s cruiser parked on 10th Street shortly after his death. To learn more about the photos acquired and about Officer Tippit’s story, visit the National Law Enforcement Museum Blog.

Today, a wreathlaying ceremony was held in honor of Officer Tippit at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Memorial Fund staff and guests attended, and Chairman & CEO Craig Floyd shared some brief remarks. “Today we honor and remember a true American hero, Officer J.D. Tippit,” he said. “To remind all of us of his sacrifice, and to remind our visitors who will come through these Memorial walls over the next few days of his special place in history, we would like to place a wreath in his honor.”