Friday, July 17, 2009


While the nation mourned the untimely death of Michael Jackson, the ten year anniversary of the death of another American icon slipped quietly by, that of John Kennedy, Jr. Of course, this is the way he would have preferred it, a quiet remembrance; exactly as he tried to live his life, as quietly as possible, which was nearly impossible given his lineage.
While Jackson reached his full potential by every measure, JFK Jr. sadly never did. He published his own magazine, earned his pilots license, and achieved an impressive 6-0 record as a prosecutor for the Manhattan District Attorney, and still it seemed the best was still ahead of him. I have to wonder what would have been ahead of him should he have decided to wait until morning instead of flying to Martha's Vineyard in the dark that fate filled night.

In remembering John, Uncle Teddy said it best at his funeral (paraphrased).....
"Once, when they asked John what he would do if he went into politics and was elected president, he said: "I guess the first thing is call up Uncle Teddy and gloat." I loved that. It was so like his father. From the first day of his life, John seemed to belong not only to our family, but to the American family. The whole world knew his name before he did.
John was so much more than those long-ago images emblazoned in our minds. He was a boy who grew into a man with a zest for life and a love of adventure. He was a pied piper who brought us all along. He was blessed with a father and mother who never thought anything mattered more than their children.
He had a legacy, and he learned to treasure it. He was part of a legend, and he learned to live with it. Above all, Jackie gave him a place to be himself, to grow up, to laugh and cry, to dream and strive on his own. John learned that lesson well. He had amazing grace. He accepted who he was, but he cared more about what he could and should become. He saw things that could be lost in the glare of the spotlight. And he could laugh at the absurdity of too much pomp and circumstance.
He thought politics should be an integral part of our popular culture, and that popular culture should be an integral part of politics.......and that is how he published his magazine"

Would he have eventually gone into politics? He never ruled it fact he was often quoted as saying politics was something you get into later in life once you have some experience and knowledgeable seasoning to share with the nation. Obviously had he lived, he would have been ready ten years later. Ready perhaps to launch a campaign for the vacated Senate seat of Hillary Clinton, the seat his sister Caroline pursued instead?
I like to think he would have taken the seat over Gillibrand, and brought a little leadership and youthful energy into a senate chamber desperately in need of some. And as he continued to grow into his political career, a leader of the Democratic party would eventually emerge? Sadly, we will never know.

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