LC native recalls writing condolence letter to Jackie Kennedy - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

LC native recalls writing condolence letter to Jackie Kennedy

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

It was among nearly 800,000 condolence letters sent to the White House following President John F. Kennedy's assassination.

Just released this week by the JFK Library and Museum, one of those letters written by 10-year-old Bridget Hebert of Lake Charles was among several featured on Tuesday's edition of NBC Nightly News.

"One of my high school friends from Lake Charles texted me and said did you know that your letter to Jackie Kennedy after President Kennedy's death was read on the national news? -- I wrote her back and said are you kidding," said Bridget Hebert Vallery.

The little girl from Lake Charles is now grown up and lives in Houston. But like many people, Bridget hasn't forgotten where she was the day President Kennedy was shot nor why she wrote the letter at just 10-years-old.

"I felt very sorry for her children who were now without a father and that she was without a husband and it just compelled me to write a letter to her. I was heartbroken," said Bridget.

Bridget's mother mailed the four page letter to the White House along with her picture. Among the heartfelt words of comfort: "I would love for you and your children to come over to our house when you are not busy..."

"I wrote to her that she could come to my house to visit and to even rest and I think that probably stemmed from I felt like my home was safe and that she could rest there. It would be peaceful and quiet, who knows what a child thinks at 10 years old... But that's what I was thinking," recalled Bridget.

Bridget's 86-year-old father, now blind, still listens to the news daily. He also heard the report on Nightly News.

"I called him Tuesday evening... and he said I heard what I thought was your name... I didn't get the first name, but I got the last name. He said that was wonderful. He said I remember how hard you took it -- when President Kennedy was assassinated -- and he said I remember you writing the letter," said Bridget. "It was nice reminisce about it because my mom has been gone now for more than 12 years. I didn't have the address to the White House and was very adamant about her sending it. And, she did. So it's kind of like she's a part of that too. Because it wouldn't have happened without her."

Bridget's 10-year-old granddaughter also was very impressed with the letter.

"She said is that Maw Maw. She's now 10-years-old. The same age I was when I wrote the letter. She knows about President Kennedy and was very interested in the letter. I plan to get a copy and read it to all of my grandchildren," said Bridget.

More than 50 years later, it's a letter now on display at Boston's John F. Kennedy Library and Museum.

"The most exciting thing is I will be going to visit the museum because I would like to see, the memorabilia, the artifacts, and hopefully see my letter there - the original. It's an incredible honor to be a part of that," said Bridget.

Late Wednesday evening Bridget said she received a full copy of her letter from the museum. In the documents was a note that her mother wrote along with her letter. Bridget learned her mother actually sent the letter to Lady Bird Johnson's office, which then forwarded the letter to Mrs. Kennedy. 

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