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Tucked in an attic, never-seen photos of JFK's funeral

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  • JFK snapshots lead to lifelong memories

    JFK snapshots lead to lifelong memories

    On November 18, 1963, Tampa would have a day in the spotlight when the president came to town. John F. Kennedy visited Tampa just four days before he was killed in Dallas.
    On November 18, 1963, Tampa would have a day in the spotlight when the president came to town. John F. Kennedy visited Tampa just four days before he was killed in Dallas.
AUBURNDALE (FOX 13) -

Rick Limandri was visiting his family in Virginia over the weekend and decided it was time to go through his father's belongings, many of which were in the attic.

Limandri and his wife began shuffling through dozens of old photographs. It wasn't surprising so many were up there; his father, Air Force Master Sgt. Francis Limandri, loved to take pictures.

In fact, when the life-long military man wasn't in uniform, he often armed himself with a camera.

But then Rick, 55, made a surprising discovery: a small envelope packed with American history.

Unbeknownst to him, his dad had watched President John F. Kennedy's funeral through his camera lens, and developed around 80 up-close photographs of one of the darkest and most important days U.S. history.

Limandri said this was like finding a black-and-white stack of hidden treasure.

"We stumbled across these pictures from the funeral and I said, 'oh, we've got to share this with somebody, it's awesome,' " Limandri said from his Auburndale home.

As he thumbed through the photos, he realized just how amazing the images are: several the Jacqueline and the Kennedy family. Perhaps the most stunning to Rick is the picture his dad took of John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting, which is among the most iconic images from the day.

Francis Limandri captured the same moment seen around the world, but from a different angle.

"You've seen that before, but not in your living room," Limandri said. "When I saw it, it just sent chills up my spine."

There are dozens of pictures of the procession, the American-flag-draped casket, and even the burial.

Rick said his father, who passed away in 1998, was a very private person and likely didn't want the attention these pictures might have brought. So it was kept secret until a family member would discover it.

"He didn't want to draw attention to himself. He did these things because it was something he wanted," he said, adding he's not terribly surprised he made the discovery just days before the 50th anniversary of JFK's death. "The forces who be would understand that I would share this with the world, and this is what needs to be done. This is part of history. This is our nation's history. It's amazing."

Limandri said he wants to offer copies of the images to a museum, but is hoping to keep the originals for himself so he can pass them down to his daughter.

"I want to share them with the rest of the world. It's part of history everybody needs to see," he said.

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