Chords of remembrance

A family’s commitment to public life

Now that we know his flaws, not many of us can romanticize John F. Kennedy or his presidency. And the glamour of the Kennedy clan has been tarnished considerably in recent years as scholars and reporters have pointed out its members' various shortcomings.

Despite all this, the death of John F. Kennedy Jr. has struck a chord of remembrance and recognition for me, as it has for many, and it has been a cause for grief—even despite the sometimes exploitative media focus on the event. What I mourn is not only the premature death of a gifted young man, but the continuing tragedy of a family that has been a presence in our lives and the life of the nation for four decades.


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