Jacqueline Kennedy offered a touching and durable vision of the White House ceremony on April 9, 1963, when President Kennedy bestowed honorary U.S. citizenship on Sir Winston Churchill.
Aged 88, Churchill was represented by his son, Randolph, who was a bundle of nerves. In the Oval Office beforehand, the first lady recalled,
Randolph was ashen, his voice a whisper. “All that this ceremony means to [Randolph and President Kennedy],” I thought, “is the gift they wish it to be for Randolph’s father.”
Randolph stepped forward to respond: “Mr. President.” His voice was strong. He spoke on, with almost the voice of Winston Churchill, speaking for his father.
Sir Winston’s message, so ably delivered by his son at that honorary citizenship ceremony 52 years ago, calls to us again across the years, amidst fresh challenges to the survival of liberty: