|JFK Presidential Library and Museum|
We've all seen the dramatic footage of his last moments, the aftermath that the country faced, and the harrowing pictures and recordings of his funeral. His death touched the whole world, and fifty years on we still continue to be fascinated with the details of his assassination.
I was in my early teens when I became interested in President Kennedy. I borrowed and purchased as many books that I could get my hands on, (and one particular shopping trip on vacation I bought 22- yes 22- coffee table sized books detailing every detail of his life and presidency!) I consumed old newspaper and magazine articles, watched interviews on YouTube and researched the policies and accomplishments of the Kennedy Administration. Every detail and aspect fascinated me, and even though departed from this world, I looked to Jacqueline Kennedy as a role model.
I was fortunate to be accepted as an intern in Congressman Patrick Kennedy's Washington DC office in 2010, an opportunity which was one of the best experiences I have had. There was something about the Kennedy family and their dedication to public service that appealed to me, and it was I feel, in part their influence that encouraged and inspired me to find ways to give back in my own community and area. Whether or not you agree with the concept of 'Camelot,' the same magic could be felt through President Obama's first campaign for the White House. I've never experienced a campaign like it, and I doubt that we will for many years to come.
A period of American history ended when the assassin's bullet struck the President, and a new one began. We have no way of knowing what would and what wouldn't have happened if the events of 22nd November 1963 hadn't taken place, subsequently shaping President Kennedy's legacy as one of achievement, glamor and stolen youth.
I'll always be interested in President Kennedy and the wider Kennedy family, and for the values that they stand for. I particularly look to Jacqueline Kennedy and the example that she set as one to incorporate into my own life- these are the values of resilience, determination and bravery, and of course to be stylish at the same time! Like the torch that sits atop his grave in Arlington, the vision and legacy of President Kennedy continues through his surviving child, Caroline, now the US Ambassador to Japan, and his grandchildren. It's exciting to see what the 'new' generation will do with their lives, and I have no doubt that the world will continue to be fascinated with America's 'royal family.'