Christmas Honors Event Includes Secret Service Agent

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Philip Merry was nine years old and riding his bike home from Patrick Henry Elementary School in Tulsa when the rain started pouring down.

He stopped at a phone booth and placed a call to his mother. The answer that came across the other line was a series of barely coherent sobs from which he was able to derive that the “President had been shot.”

The day was Nov. 22, 1963.

“It was like the world stood still. I bet you the keys to my house that anyone my age, from about 54 on up, could tell you where they were,” Merry told The City Wire in a recent interview.

More than 49 years have passed, but now Merry and the Christmas Honors program he helped to launch in 2009 will welcome a central figure from that day to Fort Smith. Click here to read the full story from our partners at