The funeral for John, Sally and Ted McNaughton was held at the National Cathedral on July 25, 1967 followed by a procession to Arlington National Cemetery for burial. The Secretary of the Navy designate, his wife and his youngest son were interred near the plot where John F. Kennedy, the man whose administration brought McNaughton to the nation’s capital, had been put to rest less than four years earlier. President Johnson drove to the funeral with Sen. Everett Dirksen, whose home was less than a mile away from McNaughton’s former house in Pekin, Illinois. Vice President Humphrey, all the Joint Chiefs of Staff, half the cabinet, Senators Robert and Ted Kennedy and the secretaries of the Army and Air Force attended along with two planeloads of the McNaughtons’ central Illinois friends. Secretary McNamara was an honorary pallbearer. McNaughton's friend and former colleague Adam Yarmolinsky gave the eulogy.
In September 1994 when McNamara was researching his book In Retrospect, his assistant discovered a memo from Richard Helms, who was at CIA at the time, to LBJ suggesting what would probably happen “if we had just pulled out?” The memo implied that the consequences would not be as dire as had been previously predicted. With frustration in his voice, McNamara rhetorically asked “Why didn’t we have access to this memo? I did not know it existed until about 1995. Was the threat as great as the President and the CIA thought?” “This” McNamara said “is much the same argument that is going on now with Iraq. The Domino Theory -- the term that Eisenhower coined to refer to the need to prevent the loss of Vietnam and Laos to the Chinese Communists which it was believed would reckon the security of the West – was it justified? This issue was never fully debated.” [vi]
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air,
And, like the baseless fabric of vision,
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with sleep."
- William Shakespeare, The Tempest, 4.1