Remembering President Kennedy

President Kennedy would have celebrated his 100th birthday on Memorial Day, and CNN’s Jake Tapper scored a great interview with Caroline Kennedy. They previewed a ten minute video recorded by the former Ambassador to Japan and her grown children, honoring her father and their grandfather. I was a freshman in college when President Kennedy was assassinated; his death felt deeply personal to me. My decision to join the Peace Corps was due in no small measure to his call to service.

I especially enjoyed seeing the grown kids of Caroline Kennedy and Ed Schlossberg. Rose and Tatiana look like Jackie and her sister Lee. Their brother Jack is all Kennedy — that dark wavy hair, the long thin face, the magnetic smile. All three are eloquent. President and Mrs. Kennedy would have been proud of the way their grandkids have turned out — and of their daughter and her husband for raising them.

I actually briefly met and spoke with Caroline Kennedy in Rochester, at a fund-raiser for Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. Caroline Kennedy has endured more traumatic loss than most, yet she is a poised, hard-working, interesting woman who has come from a prominent and wealthy family but doesn’t seem to have used her advantages as a crutch — or, a la Ivanka Trump — as a platform for self-aggrandizement. Caroline Kennedy seems to me to have earned her place in life and earned our respect. She understands the dignity of public service in a way that the current crowd in the White House never will.

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