JFK Jr's burial at sea

No slam at the grieving family, but how did they wangle a U.S. Naval destroyer for their burial ceremony?

My comments in the Pit this morning:

Is the navy going to have to divert a warship from it’s regular duties everytime one of these presidential children die?
Will Chelsey rate a destroyer, or has the escapades of her father relegated her to a small frigate? What about Amy Carter? Remember her? Her Dad served in nuclear submarines. Maybe the Navy can shoot her out a torpedo tube. How about a whole fleet of PT boats for Caroline, in honor of her father’s service in WWII. If the Reagan kids cooperate and all kick the bucket on the same day, perhaps we can arrange for a last ride on their pop’s namesake, the new supercarrier!

What about the Bush boys? Wait! Sorry! They’re actually public servants. It might look like someone was pulling some strings. Nevermind.

I just went over to that thread and… no answer. Is this in any way legit?

Imagine you’re some no-name Admiral sitting in your Petagon office, and you get a phone call from the most prominant member of the United States Senate. What are you going to do? Say “No!”?

The question we were asking at work was this: Once the families knew they were dead and had decided to bury them at sea, why didn’t they just call off the search for the bodies? Wouldn’t that have achieved the same results for a lot less time and money?

I read somewhere today that burial at sea is “within protocol” for the children of any decorated Navy veteran. JFK Sr. was indeed a Navy war hero, and as such his children were and are entitled to that courtesy.


I don’t know how serious any of you boneheads are, but if the god damn presidents of the USA and their children don’t warrant a little extra effort then there is something wrong with this country. Politicians (no matter how cynical you are) are pulbic servants, and all things being equal don’t get paid for shit considering their responsiblities and sacrifices. When one dies, even children of presidents, you damn well better believe this country can afford to give a little back.

JFK gave his life for this country, a risk every politician assumes, and now you’re pissed that his son, born in office, is getting a special grant to use a Naval Vessel for his burial. You have issues. why don’t you get off you ass and do something to better the country and maybe you’ll get a burial in arlington, but you better work your ass off, but that doesn’t seem likely.

Guess what, if you made your company a couple of million dollars because of a lot of hard work. They’d be fine with loaning you the company jet for a vacation or a chance to visit family. Do you think the other employees have a right to bitch about your special treatment? Fact is you earned it.

I suggest this country and you people riddled with negativity start showing some respect to those who serve this country. I am amazed at the utter disdain and near hatred the people feel for their Presidents.

These men do the most important job on the planet, and get paid 1% of what most CEO’s for Fourtune 500 companies get paid, and what do they get in return, hatred and abuse because their affliliated with a political party other than yours.

I think Reagan was a senile bastard who put our economy in serious peril, but i know he did lots of great things, some I’m aware of and others not, and he will get the utmost respect from me and his family deserves any consessions this country can afford them. He was a President, I disagree with him, but I respect him. People need to start realizing theres a difference.

There is speculation that John John wanted to be buried at sea because after his father died, it is alleged that the Navy buried JFK’s coffin, no body but filled with sand in the sea.

According to Mike Micinelli at WIP-AM in Philadelphia, who I heard this story from,
and I find him a questionable source of information at best, this information was only released by the National Archives just recently.

This to me sounds like conspiracy hocus-pocus, but if anyone wants to present hard facts, lemme know.


Omniscient, as the son of someone who spent 28 years in the service of his country, including going to war for it, I submit you don’t have the right to condemn anybody for their opinions on this topic. The fact that John F. Kennedy was president does not confer any special status on his children. Or maybe you haven’t read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution?

Don’t get paid shit for their sacrifices? Please. Who do you think you’re fooling? Give a little back? How about free housing and healthcare for the duration of their presidency, a six-figure income, Secret Service protection for life, and all the power in the free world for 4-8 years? How’s that sound?

You misspelled “soldiers” really badly.

Hey, I paid for the boat, I get some say in who uses it.

Watch as he steps over the line to complete insanity . . .so you’re only a good person if you are a politician or get buried at Arlington? Wake up, dude.

Uh, no, that’s called “misappropriation.”

Except the president is our employee, not the other way around. And JFK Jr. was never president anyway.

Wow. Talk about inflamed passions!
It’s amazing how offended people get when you catch them with their hands in the cookie jar.

I’m not buying that “son of a naval hero” crap. I don’t believe the U.S. Navy is in the habit of providing excursion services on a warship to scatter ashes on the briny deep. They might take them along for the ride on regularly scheduled exercises and dump them when nobody’s looking, but take the whole family along on a day-trip? I don’t think so.

What about intact corpses? Do all our ships have meat lockers or do they arrange to clear the decks early in the voyage?

This was/is a legitimate question. You all are free to worship any sacred cow you like, but don’t expect everyone to stop eating hamburger.


I had no idea that giving your utmost respect to a president these days involved calling them a “senile bastard”. Hmmmm… I suppose you do learn something new every day.

Omni - Where do you get off assumeing that anybody who criticizes the special treatment given to the Kennedys disagrees with their politics?

This is the United States, buddy! Entitlement to public largess is not supposed to be something that can be inherited.

I really think some of you people have diefied the Kennedys to the point that any criticism of them approaches blasphamy. Perhaps you’d be happier living someplace where they give a damn who your parents are, like England (although even they seem to be tiring of the silly business).

I don’t know how you missed it in all the media coverage, but the Navy was pretty straightforward in answering your question, Nickrz. They explained that any military vet is eligible for burial at sea (cremated remains only, not bodies) and yes, they do arrange to take a few family members to sea for the ceremony.
Getting civilians on board Navy ships, isn’t that big a deal, by the way. They do “family cruises” all the time before a ship departs for a long cruise.
That said, the Navy also admitted that JFK Jr. was not technically eligible for this service but that they agreed to do it anyway because of “his family’s notable service to the country” or something like that.
So yes, he got special privileges. At least the Navy just said so instead of dancing around the issue.
And what’s the big deal anyway? It’s not like this ship was sitting in a garage and they had to haul it out, staff it, spend money on oil they wouldn’t have used, etc. Any movements and operations amount to training for the crew, so it’s not that far afield from what they would have been doing.
Like it or not, ceremony is a significant part of military life. I happen to like it.
– Greg, Atlanta

For what’s it’s worth – The Briscoe wasn’t necessarily “diverted from its regular duty” to perform the burial. Navy ships perform this service often in the course of their regular duties. My husband has been present at 10 or more of these burials. Not always scatterings of cremains, either. He’s seen a couple of bodies (in plain pine boxes) dumped over the side too – although he admits that this may no longer be permitted, in the last few years it’s been cremains only. It is usually the remains of veterans who are buried at sea (not only Navy veteran). In one case, the ashes of a Vet and his wife were mixed and scattered together. And, having the family aboard for the service? Very unusual. Kevin never encountered that himself or heard of it happening except in the rare case where a family member of the deceased happened to be stationed aboard the ship doing the service. It’s clear to me that some favoritism was shown, although not to the extent of having a warship torn from important duties to perform an un-heard of activity. As to whether or not that favoritism was justified… I don’t know. I think there are arguements on both sides and I haven’t completely made up my mind yet.


Full of 'satiable curtiosity

Omniscient writes:

I’ve made my company several million dollars on several different occasions… they never offered the jet… best I got was a few stock options…[wink]
GregAtlanta wrote:

They also cited his “outstanding charitable contributions”… though I’m not sure how that is supposed to tie in with any kind of military justification…

No one needs to point out the obvious (body floating to surface, scavangers, etc.) but I find it amusingly ironic that they spent so much money and manpower pulling them from the ocean to turn around and toss them back in.

(Yes, I know they were cremated)


Coarse and violent nudity. Occasional language.

you guys are probably going to kill me for this but i cant help myself!
what did the kennedys miss most about marthas vinyard???


“If it takes for me to suffer for my brothers to see the light, give me pain till I die! But please lord treat them right”
“Two wrongs dont make a right but it damn sure makes us even”

“Petagon”, PoppaBear? If that wasn’t intentional, it should have been! Anyway, today’s paper said that although the Church of Rome now allows cremation, U.S. bishops have ruled that the complete remains, in an urn, must be placed in the water–no “scattering”. Anyone know the rationale behind that?
–Alan Q

Put me in the “They shouldn’t have done that” camp. What got me was that the press reported that the quick cremation, service and funeral at sea were done to “prevent a public spectacle”. A bit too late for that, me thinks.

JFK is buried in Arlington National. The coffin used to transport his body from Dallas to DC was not the same as the coffin in which he was buried. The Kennedy family had the transport coffin weighted down and sunk in the ocean off Martha’s Vineyard. The stated reason was to avoid having the empty coffin turned into a public spectacle (see a common thread?), but conspirasy theorist will debate that.

The overwhelming majority of people have more than the average (mean) number of legs. – E. Grebenik

I don’t see why anyone is so surprised that the Kennedys get special treatment. Their family is very rich and influential and has many prominent politicians. The US military, like any other private company or corporation, is trying to put some favours in the favour bank hoping for a return later on.

It’s the same with any public official. Our local non-profit human rights group has tried many times to meet with our elected officials, but unsuccessfully. If I was Joe Q. BusinessOwner and my company had millions in dollars in revenue, you can bet they would invite me right in.

In a capitalist society, money determines how well you’re treated. If you want a nice burial at sea, make several billion dollars and you’ll get all the attention you need.

Jacques Kilchoer
Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains.