It was Thanksgiving, the American national holiday, the weekend Kennedy was shot.
This was a nation plunged into mourning at a time when it usually celebrated.
After the funeral, the Irish cadets were able to relax and get to know their American counterparts.
The US high command had great respect for the young Irish cadets after witnessing their drill at the funeral.
“The order was as gaeilge,” said Felix. “It was one order that proceeds seven or eight movements that have to be co-ordinated.”
It was this drill that Kennedy witnessed at Arbour Hill Dublin on his Irish visit in June. He was the first foreign head of state to visit Arbour Hill where the leaders of 1916 are buried. It is also a British military graveyard.
“The US soldiers were very courteous,” cadet captain Brian McKevitt said. “They had a lot of respect for us.”
After buying some gifts and mementos, the cadets headed back for Dulles airport, or so they thought.
“The driver was bringing us Andrews air force base in Texas,” said Felix. “Eventually we got to Dulles where Dev was standing waiting for us. And then it was home.”