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JFK Jr. reader reflections

July 22, 1999 has stopped taking reader responses for the day. Thank you.

Reflections from July 19, 1999 | Reflections from July 20, 1999
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Doug Wheaton, E. Boston
My sadness over the tragedy stems from the realization that the door to Camelot is now irrevocably shut. I think that alot of people, myself included, hoped that someday JFK Jr. would fulfill his father's incomplete legacy. The prospect that someday he might run for the presidency gave many citizens of this country the hope that the moral bankruptcy that has consumed the political leaders of this country for the last 35 years would be reversed - at least for a while. Much, if not all, of that dream died Saturday.

Pam Nold, Oregon
To the Kennedy & Bessette Families, I would just like them to know that this tragedy has not remained on the eastern seaboard, but that the thoughts and prayers of those of us on the west coast (Portland Oregon!) are with them. It feels strange being so sad about the death of someone I didn't know, but I realize that John, Carolyn and Lauren were part of my generation--I feel such an emptiness that is very hard for me to shake. I grew up watching John grow up......All I know is that I very much admired John for his strong character, his moral values, his charitable nature, and for being a perfect representation of the "30-something" generation. I will miss his classy smile, and will miss seeing he and Carolyn adorning the television & magazine covers. God Bless You All.

Marv MacIntyre, Nashua, NH
The effort expended to recover the bodies of JFK, Jr., his wife Carolyn and Lauren was justified on many levels. First, we must recognize that JFK was different from you and me and most other Americans. He represented a last link to the promise and hope for the future and the willingness for people to serve others that his father advocated. Pres. Kennedy's death left a huge void for an entire generation and many of us still lament his passing.

Second, John represented for many of us an ideal. His was the prototypical American male that men aspire to and women are drawn to. He was intelligent, handsom, considerate and thoughtful. He loved adventure and did many good works that have escaped public visibility. He was what I want to be and what I want my son to be.

The folk who express dismay that taxpayers are footing a bill because of class distinctions need to wake up and recognize that America as a classless society never existed and never will. We are stratified on many levels, be they wealth, education, physical abilities and looks.

JFK, Jr's passing is another blow to those of us who strive for excellence and who appreciate those that achieve it.


W, Wellesley
I was impressed with Ted Kennedy's eloquence in his statement from the family. It is the pictures of John with his father that keep coming to mind. The picture of JFK Jr. saluting his father's casket always brought such emotion but now I cannot look at it without tears coming to my eyes.

I spend some time each summer in the waters off of The Vineyard. I feel like I will think of John, Carolyn, and Lauren everytime I go there for the rest of my life.

So many sad times,let us try to dwell on the wonderfull days they had,the good they did and thank God for the goodness he bestowed on them. Their days were cut short but is it how long we are on this earth, or what we do with the time ginn ven. We are all a breath from the same .

Jim, Watertown
Although this tragedy cuts short the lives of 3 very young people who undoubtably had much more to share with the world, I think it is comforting to know that they all lived extremely full and vibrant lives while they were with us. While its sad and cruel that they are no longer among us, I will take solace and focus my thoughts on all the amazing experiences that they obviously had and how much they achieved during their lifetimes.

Best wishes to the Kennedy and Bessette families during this very difficult time. My thoughts are with the Kennedy and Bessette families

Nancy, Boston
The church was located across the driveway from the Catholic school I attended in 1963. When his father died, the entire school was taken out of classes, to the church for the initial announcement. I was thirteen. And now John Jr. His parents diligently engaged in the daily practice of keeping Caroline & John from public eyes. They let them be - just like us - to meld into the life of the "Ordinary people." Our Icons did not die - one of us died. May you find peace with your parents - in the eternal comfort of love and solitude. To Caroline, his wife, and Lauren, her sister may you find comfort in the arms of the angels!!!

Monica Mudge, Delta B.C.
My family and I were shocked on hearing the news of this tragedy. The Kennedy family and the Bessette family are in our prayers. John F. Kennedy Jr. represented a piece of history that was taken from Americans in 1963 and then again in 1968 when Robert Kennedy was assassinated. I think that the American people were looking for him to take them back to a new Camelot. He and his wife were in some ways a reincarnation of JFK and Jackie Kennedy, Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

Nancy Ingram, Medford
I would like to express my sincere sorrow to the families of John, Carolyn and Lauren. My thoughts and prayers are with them all during this sad time. May God bless them all.

Lisa Bresten, Cambridge
They said he was a regular guy. They called him a husband, a brother, a nephew, a cousin and a friend. Of course he was a regular person. In the end, we are all just regular people, nothing more than flesh, blood and bone.

They said he was a bright shining light. Of course he was, we all have that same bright shining light within us. When our late president Kennedy told us "to ask what we could do for our country" he did not mean that we all had to aspire to the senate or the presidency, he merely recognized that even the smallest contributions could change the world.

They all say he was special and he was. We looked to him to give us back our memories of a time full of hope and the wonder of the limitless potential our futures held. We looked to him to strip away our apathy and make us excited to participate in this great democracy. He was special not because he was the son of a president, but because he bore our selfish wishes with grace and valor. He honored the past without losing his own dreams.

The Kennedys are special and I can think of no more fitting tribute to their memories than for each of us to shine our light on others, making small acts of love compassion and kindness our way of changing the world.

Helene, Scituate
The news of the deaths of these 3 individuals is sad at it's deepest levels for so many of us on the planet. It goes beyond Massachusetts and New York. This event has reached around the world and the pain and grief is shared by many because of the joy, hope and future that these people brought to the world by just being who they are.

May we continue to remember the goodness we enjoyed by knowing that they were with so many of us in some unique and heart felt way.

Anne Marie Frasier, Mansfield
Although, I've never met these three young, bright and talented people, I feel for their families and friends for their great loss. For that, my thoughts and prayers go out to all of you. May time help to ease the pain and the memories of your loved ones remain forever in your hearts.

Steven, Malden
Near a shady wall a rose once grew, Budded and blossomed in God's free light, Watered and fed by morning dew, Shedding its sweetness day and night,

As it grew and blossomed fair and tall; Slowly rising to loftier height, It came to a crevice in the wall, Through which there shone a beam of light.

Onward it crept with added strength, With never a thought of fear or pride. It followed the light through the crevice's length and unfolded itself on the other side.

Shall claim of death cause us to grieve, And make our courage faint or fall? Nay, let us faith and hope receive; The rose still grows beyond the wall. A. L. Fink

Tim Taylor, Boston
That is my silence in respect for your grief.

Michelle, PA
I have read the crticism regarding the media coverage, the extended rescue recovery efforts/ the total media blitz with silent sadness. I cannot believe that some people respond to the tragic death of ANYONE with anything but empathy and consideration for the vistims, friends and families. If there were someone that I loved, lost in the unknown, you can bet that I would use every effort/connection/avenue to save/find them. How can anyone begrudge anyone of that??

I don't think the John Kennedy Jr, Caroline Bessette Kennedy or Loren Bessette did anything extraordinary for the world during their lives. But does that fact make their lives any less valuable?? I keep hearing this sad, cynical complaint of why these people deserve any special treatment. Any human being that is suffering deserves our attention and our help in any way that we can manage. My God, have we become so self interested that we cannot open our hearts to help other's bear the pain of loss that we all must suffer eventually. I am saddened by the cynisicm I read here. I hope that some of these readers never know the pain and angst of losing someone in such a tragic way.

Shirley, Panama, FL
The first thing I will ask God one day is why such tragedies as this happen. Today I can not explain but we must look for God in everything. I believe John is introducing Carolyn to his father John F. Sr. and to grandmother Rose. Jackie is smiling at the reunion. Lauren will be introduced also. Those left behind feel pain over such an event as the plane crash and loss of their loved ones. We will miss knowing what John Jr could have become, perhaps President. We will miss seeing the children the two would have had. Lauren will be missed but still loved. Our heart felt love goes to the family and friends. love goes to the bereaved.

Anonymous, Easton MA
Although this whole scenario was terribly tragic, I think that this situation has made me realize one thing; that the class system does still exist in America. Had I, or anyone else for that matter, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean they would've given up their search the next day, if it had been initiated in the first place. JFK Jr. was the son of someone famous, simple as that. He had accomplished nothing as of yet, but still because of the Kennedy name, a massive search took place. I find it terribly disturbing to see that a nae can carry so much weight in today's society

Carol, Sudbury
What a pity that technology allows us to photograph a grieving family with a camera from more than a mile away. Has the press no pride?? The reason for a mile-wide perimeter around the Naval vessel was to protect these grieving families from prying eyes and public scrutiny. I extend my sympathies to the Kennedy and Bessette families for their losses, and my deep regrets and apologies for the invasion of their privacy at this very sad time. May John, Carolyn and Lauren rest in Peace.

Kathlyn Fowler, Houston
Dear Bessette and Kennedy Families,

I wish to express my deepest sympathies for your loss. Their legacy of honor, faith, respect, and loving life that all three shared will live on in our hearts and minds. They were, and will always be, a credit to their families, friends, and country. Thank you for molding and loving them into the positive role models that they became to so many.

Y'all should be proud of their accomplishments and your contributions in giving the world such beautiful people, inside and out. Take care.


Kathlyn Fowler

To: Walrus, Boston

About 20 years ago, I asked a Roman Catholic Priest about being cremated. I wondered if it were against the Catholic faith. He told me that the reason it has been forbidden is that people think that if the body is in ashes, then God can't find them because they're scattered all over the place. BUT, if you believe that God can find you regardless of where you might be, in whole, in part, or in ashes, it is permissable.

Another posting expressed my thoughts well -- with both of the tragedies we have seen over the past two weeks, it is making me question things I would really rather not question. It is making mortality all the more real. One realizes that regardless of how "suave" one thinks he/she is, one grand mistake is all you need, and it could be the last one you'll ever make. Case in point, the 15-year-old girl in Abington who was struck and killed by a train last year. One moment of bad judgement, and she's gone.

We all have our own ways of expressing our grief. Perhaps, we should all just respect everyone's way without making judgements. Either those who feel there is too much $$$$ or media coverage or whatever or those of us who might judge the persons concerned with the $$$$ or media coverage. I do agree that the repetition of the same information over and over again is on the edge of ghoulishness. I want to hear what has happened. I am curious. I am concerned. But, I do not need to read about the same exact things in each and every separate report.

I despise death and funerals. I personally think the entire tradition is barbaric, but we, as humans, need something for closure, and this is the best we've got. Let us try to give all these families as much privacy as we can. Let them grieve in peace. Let John John, Carolyn, Lauren, and Melissa rest in peace. Let their deaths not be cause for strife and bitterness. Let their lives have been for more than that.

G. Pulliam, D.C.
I don't consider myself someone who gets 'star-struck', but I had the fortunate experience of hearing JFK Jr. speak at a conference. I am 29 years old..and not someone easily moved by the words of another. I was taken by his presence and truly impacted by his words. I think our loss, as a country, is in the form of a lost future "leader" I strongly feel he would have been able to engage the citizenry in the affairs of OUR community, like no other. We have all suffered a great loss. GOD BLESS.

Anonymous, Boston
I feel sorry for the Kennedy and Bessette families. I can't even begin to imagine their pain. They are in my prayers. I also feel sorry for the young girl who was recently murdered and her family. But I feel even sorrier for Joe Clark, Chelsea; Dave, Billerica; Jeff, Boston and all the rest who have the same attitude. How very lonely and sad your lives must be.

Normajane, Edison
My prayer for kenndy and besttee family on your loss of jfk jr caroline, lauren. My heart go out to on your loss. Just remember the good time and that there at peace.

Megan, Falmouth
As an aspiring political leader, I have always looked up to the Kennedy's as amazing role models. They are an icon of not only politics in America but of dreams for our future and our past. I will miss John F. Kennedy Jr., tremendously, as will the rest of the world. He, his wife and Lauren really prove the fact that, only the good, really do, "die young".

Dave Robinson, Lowell
Its interesting to see all of the different opinions of how people felt about John Kennedy Jr., his wife Carolyn and her sister. Were the efforts to find them worth it? It seems that people have disagreements over the merits of this activity. I think that it was. This family for all of the good and bad that has happened to them are part of the American landscape. They are interesting and people want to know as much about them as they can. This whole event was a tradegy and should never have happened. That fact will be debated for the rest of time. Sadly, this event did occur and JFK Jr. was the only son of an American President. Just that fact alone warrants the effort to recover his remains and those of his wife and her sister so there will be closeure for the families who have suffered the most.

Ken & Nancye Clark, Tallahasse
His parents were our heros, he and his sister our children. We try always to protect our heros and our children. History tells us that they are never safe from predators, even in death. It was fitting to recover, cremate, and bury at sea the mortal remains of John, Carolyn, and Lauren. We do so because we are strong, and able to take care of our own. We do so because of love and honor, and because it helps us to accept that which we cannot change. We do so because we love one another.

The Paivas, Revere
I can't explain why this has affected me so. I kept thinking and praying that this would all go away. That somehow they were alive and waiting to be rescued. Now that all hope is gone for that, I feel an incredible sadness that I can't explain. If I feel that, then what do the families feel? How does it compare? I am so angered by the people posting on this board who talk about money used and other people's death and grieving. They are just as important to their families and friends. Do not think otherwise. In this tragedy, a nation is grieving. It's not because he was young and handsome and they were beautiful people, it's a dynasty in our country's history that is being lost. The Kennedy's may be rich and powerful, but think of the grief they have suffered for that legacy. A father, brother, son, uncle, nephew, cousin, husband...all of the Kennedy's have lost one of these in the last few decades. Can you not imagine the pain? Please let these families grieve in peace. No pictures, no media hounds, and no rude and uncaring remarks. After losing someone close to me, the only comfort I was able to have came with time. I had to believe that our loved ones go to a place where all is peaceful and happy. No pain is felt, no loss remembered, just happiness at being reunited with those they loved that have gone before them. I took solice in this and I hope the families of John, Carolyn, and Lauren can also.

David, Norwalk,CT
Sad, sad, sad; no judgments from me, only sorrow... and early childhood memories, unresurrected for decades, of being hustled out of church on the Cape on summer Sundays to catch a glimps of the President and his family as they emerged from St. Francis in Hyannis after Sunday Mass... I'm 7 months older than John Jr. was, so the recollections are vague, but deep, it would seem, and so poignant in these past few days... My deepest condolences to the families, and to all who feel a loss...

As to the media and criticism of coverage: Yes, it has been excessive and, at times, intrusive (though, so far, not as intrusive as I feared; please continue to prove me wrong, and thanks to the authorities for making sure the raising of the remains was witnessed only by those to whom the occasion properly belonged -- even though a part of me, which I'm not proud of, still wants to see that plane being pulled from the water). But to those who believe the press is not doing what it's "intended" for, or some such similar sentiment, here's the reality (it ain't pretty, but there's nothing new here; this is no special insight of mine): The media in the U.S. is first and foremost in the business of making a profit, today probably more than ever before. Yes, we have a "free" press, in the sense that it's independent of the government or other central authoritary (subject to the limits of libel law, etc.), but it's more illuminating to consider what we have a "commercial" press. It's rarely if ever free of the authority (tyranny?) of the bottom line, the free market, the Board of Directors, which are, in turn, ultimately answerable to their customers -- advertisers and readers/listeners/viewers. That's how it is, for better or for worse, or really, as is so often the case, a solid dose of each. I don't have a better idea; what we have is certainly better than a state press or one subject to state censorship. And here's the kicker: YOU'RE THE MARKET. If you've watched and found coverage excessive or intrusive, I trust you've turned it off. (Who's that in the glass house with the bag of stones??) Don't waste you're time posting criticism here; that's part of the game, it actually helps feed the beast by filling space, makes it appear media coverage isn't as beholden to the market and its own momentum as it actually is, and most insidiously, also allows critics to vent in a more-or-less meaningless way that does no harm to the financial support structure that holds the whole edifice up. I'm not suggesting the media were set up and/or are run this way in a premeditated, cynical fashion (though there's no doubt some of that), only that this is how it in fact works. If you object to something, much better to turn off the TV, don't buy the newspaper, don't buy products made or marketed by sponsors of that to which you object. I know, it's hard; I try, with very limited success. Now, how to stay informed?? That, folks, seems to me a very good question...

M. Pearse, Chelmsford
For JFK Jr., Carolyn, and Lauren...

HIGH FLIGHT By John Gillispie Magee, Jr.

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth Of sun-split clouds--and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of--wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there, I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace Where never lark, or even eagle flew And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod The high untrespassed sanctity of space, Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Cynthia Parrack Coffey, Florida
Having grown up in the Kennedy era, I have always followed the whole family. John Jr., has always been a loving young man with a bright future. It's such a shame that a brillent, young, promising leader of our great country has departed us. Knowing how much my heart aches I can only image what the families are going through. My thoughts and prayers are with you now and always!!!!!!!!

Lou, Boston
I agree with Arnold of Providence. JFK Jr was nothing more than a son of someone famous 40 years ago. If it were members of my family or yours that were in that plane they would have given up searching last Saturday night. Since when are the distribution of resources and assets measured by the size of your wallet? Are their lives worth more than yours or mine? It appears so, that is the bigger tragedy.

As I sit here in HAWAII, sadness overcomes me to think the dreams of this young man is gone, and our dreams of him maybe one day being a leader of this great country is now gone forever. My heart goes out to his sister and uncle TED kennedy, to have this happen to their family. I pray you all go on and never have another loss, not leaving out the girls family who have loss two daughters...BLESS YOU ALL.

Steve Cronin, Canton
I feel a terrible loss over the death of JFK, jr. For a guy who had it all, I admire the way he lived his life. He was humble, unassuming, and loved life. He may not have been a great man (yet) but from all accounts, he was certainly a gentleman and a great guy. The world would be a better place is there were more men like JFK, jr. And to those who are all worked up about the coverage by the media this is receiving, get over it. While no one life is more important than any other, when one feels as if they knew the deceased, then obviously it will hit home a lot more than some poor soul who died in a car wreck in (fill in the blank). People felt as if JFK, jr was a part of their lives and want to mourn his passing. Rest in Peace John John, Carolyn, & Lauren.

Powers, Dedham
May God Bless the souls of John, Caroline and Lauren. May he also bless the relatives, family, friends grieving for them. May they remember the good times, and keep happy memories to sustain them. May they have time to grieve privately and not by public scrutiny. My prayers and those of my family are with all. God Bless.

To John Clarke of Chelsea. Didn't your mother ever tell you if you have nothing nice to say, don't say it. You should of kept your mouth shut. This isn't the place to voice your opinion about how much money is being spent. Shame on you! My deepest condolences to both families and to this great nation who are also grieving!

Teri, Carlisle
TO ALL OF YOU WHO DON'T GET IT: John F. Kennedy, Jr. WAS A NATIONAL ICON! This was a national tragedy and DID deserve the attention it received.

It does not, however, take away from other peoples suffering. I do recall an instance where they drained a quarry to look for a girls body so the family would have closure and I don't believe that they were RICH.

JFK, Jr. was extremely active in many charities giving of his time and money. I believe he carried himself with dignity and charm in many situations that would make a lesser man crack. To be followed around all his life being held under a microscope to see when and if he is going to mess up. He did not bend to pressures in being someone that he wasn't. You have to admire him for that, at least. I did not personally know him, but I did appreciate what he tried to accomplish with his power.

Let me ask you this: What contribution would you make if you had all that money and power? Would you deny yourself the comforts that come with money? I THINK NOT!

Let us not judge others and how they react to tragedy. Let us just pray for all those who suffer.

Mary McMahon, Foxboro
There are no words that can express my sincere sympathy for both of the families. I don't know how anyone can endure the pain of this tragic loss. My heart and prayers go out to all of you.

Jean Marino, Boston
Dearest Caroline,

Your beloved brother John was a wonderful example of love and commitment to mankind, hope and a bright beacon for the next generation. Though his life was cut short and fast I am happy that your beloved parents and you were blessed with his life. My heartfelt sympathy to you, Edwin, the children and the Kennedy family. May John's hopes and ideas for a better world to live in never be forgotten. May the love of Christ protect and guide you during these difficult days.



Dear Bessette Family,

May the strength of faith, and love and family and friends support you during this difficult time in your life. From what I have read you were truly blessed with two beautiful gifts. Though taken early and quickly their goodness and kindness will live forever in the hearts that have known them and we that have come to know them this past week. You are in my prayers.



Matt, B'ham, AL
As a young man of the Catholic faith, I sit in somberness because of the death of these three young vibrant personalities. Kennedy was to be my generation's version of his father (as I believe) in politics. A young man that I could relate to and rally behind. He had so many attributes that I can only hope to emulate. His wife and her sister also appeared to be beautiful people, and not just by physical characteristics. Yet let us also rejoice with their ascention into the Heavens, a trip we all hope to someday make. As the public, we must let this rest for the families and those others closely involved. Rest in peace Mr. and Mrs. Kenndy and Lauren.

Bridget, Woodbridge
One song sums it all up. It is called Fly Away by Poe

It makes sense that it should happen this way That the sky should break, and the earth should shake As if to say: Sure it all matters but in such an unimportant way As if to say: Fly away Sweet bird of prey fly fly away nothing can stand in your way sweet bird, if you knew the words I know you'd say: fly away It makes sense that it should hurt in this way That my heart should break & my hands should shake As if to say: Sure it don't matter except in the most important way As if to say: Fly Away.... It makes sense that it should feel this way That you slowly fade and yet still remain As if to say: Everything matters in such an invisible way As if to say: Fly Away It's o.k.

May the all live peacefully in heaven. God Bless

Gerry, Andover
Let not the death of these fine young people ever be reason not to have faith in the beauty of life itself. Good bye and farewell, we will miss you and never forget you.

MariaLisa, Medford
My deepest sorrow goes out to the Bessett and Kennedy families. I am so so sorry for your losses. I lost my brother Peter in a helicopter crash on April 24, 1995. We too, come from a large family. That was our first tragedy. All the sorrow that the Kennedy family has suffered and now, too the Bessett family - it's not fair for such young people to be taken away as they were. My brother's death came all back to me when I learned about the crash of JFK's plane. It's never to far back in my memory. I think of him on a daily basis. Caroline, I wish you all the best. My heart and soul goes out to you.

Mary, Sterling
You take with you our hopes and dreams... Fly silver as the moon beams twinkling onto the dark sea of night You are in our hearts as is the salt in our veins to carry within us the blessings given by us who now feel the fortune of what remains.



Fran, FL

Alison Kerrigan, NY, NY
My prayers and wishes are with JFK Jr's family and the Bessette family. It was so great to see JFK Jr. in Midtown Manhattan walking around and saying hello to people who would say hi to him. He was very much a people person and a wonderful man. I ran into Caroline down in Tribeca once and I said hello to her too and she was very kind. I know that JFK Jr, Caroline and Lauren are all in a place that angels are watching over them and they will rest in peace.

We as a country mourn the loss of these 3 wonderful people. Again, our prayers and love go out to their families.

Sara Knight, San Diego
In deepest sympathy, our thoughts and prayers go out to the Bessette and Kennedy family's.

Please know how many people grieve with you and take comfort in the fact that so many people loved, respected and admired your dear family members who were taken from you much too soon.

God Bless you all!

Matt O'Connor
I wasn't alive when JFK Jr.'s father, President Kennedy, was alive. That fact didn't stop me from admiring and respecting him. When I was young 7 or 8 I couldn't stop reading about him and his family and his tragically short time in the Oval Office. I went to the JFK Library in Dorchester, MA and it was an expirence I'll never forget. I was standing in front of history. It was overwhelming.

That is why I feel like this, JFK Jr. was my generation's link to Camelot. Then having his life and the life of his beautiful wife and sister-in-law, cut short in the cruel Kennedy manner it was hard to take. In a way we all felt connected to that family's legend and lore.

My heart goes out to the Kennedy and Bessette-Freeman family in their time of tragic loss and greivance.

Here I leave you with words that now have meaning beyond the words. Now it seems very ironic, but for anyone opposed to burial at sea here are words that will change your mind.

"It is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, our sweat, and in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it, we are going back from whence we came." --Pres. John F. Kennedy, September 14, 1962, Newport, R.I.

Going back from whence we came is exactly where JFK Jr. is now. God Bless.

Cynthia Chin, Boston
This tragedy is so sad and touching toe everyone in the world. we will remember JFK jr for his hard work in the Geroge magazine and his tragic death. however everyone should move on because this was the act of fate. the only one good thing that came for this tragedy is the fact that the young Kennedys will be together for eternity and Lauren Bessette will be there too. at least they have each other. and that the Kennedys still here will support each other through good and bad. i believe that JFK jr would finally meet his father in heaven. Heaven seems to bring people together.

Michele & Joe Ambrogio & son, Pittsburgh
Our thoughts and prayers are with both families.

Those who insist that this is a tragedy like any other, those who critisize the attention being paid to it, those who roll their eyes at the silent disbelief being felt across America ought to be ashamed of themselves. Instead of trying to find fault in us for paying so much attention to this and in the Kennedy family for who they are, one would think we could all simply agree that this is a national tragedy burdening a family who has had to endure more of them than most of us can even possibly imagine. In spite of their shortcomings, the Kennedy's are a huge part of American history. Tragedies do happen every day and to many innocent people, that is true but to suggest that America treat this incident as if it happened to just anybody is ridiculous. Much of America feels a connetion to this family unlike any other and that in and of itself makes this situation unique. Many of us are deeply saddened by this because we consider the Kennedy's to be Americas family. We have endured their triumphs, tragedies and scandals for more than six decades and like any family, we have taken the good with the bad. That collective connection is what sets the Kennedy's apart from most and it is why so much of America seems to be observing a moment of silence. For those of you who must find fault in that, keep it to yourself and show a little more respect!!!

Jeff, Boston
I applaud Matt of Boston's thought. Yes it is tragic and I feel sympathy for the family and friends of these three people. But how many more people should perish at someone elses misjudgment and recklesness?

Linda J. Maguire, Nashua, NH
My condolences are extended to the families of the Kennedy's and the Bessette's for their tragic losses. My heart is broken for what was.....for could have been....for what will now never be. May God be with you Caroline in your time of grief that I cannot begin to imagine......both families are in my thoughts and prayers.

AC, Washington
As a member of Generation X, I grew up hearing about the magic that was Camelot. A debonair President with vision and charisma, a beautiful young wife with poise and dignity and two adorable children that brought youth and vitality to the house on Pennsylvania Avenue. Some remember where they were when President Kennedy was assassinated, I dreamed of my own chance at Camelot. A young boy saluting his slain father held the promise of what might be.

Wherever John Kennedy Jr. went, whatever he did he carried himself with the self-assurance and dignity that reminded us of those that came before. His ability to live a seemingly normal life amid the stares and scrutiny of a nation and the world simply made me admire him more. The Kennedy family, with its amazing highs and devastating lows, captured my heart and my imagination. In them I saw the past and the hope for the future. John Kennedy embodied the best of all things Kennedy. He loved and embraced life, yet never taking it too seriously. He lived is life at his own pace instead of succumbing to the legacy bestowed him. But it only seemed a matter of time before he came into his own and started down the road toward politics. And that road brought hope to those of us that waited so long to see if history could repeat itself. I imagined our nation once again looking to a handsome visionary who could take us back in time to a simpler place while still guiding us effortlessly to the future.

A nation mourns the child that we first fell in love with and the extraordinary man that he became, while a family mourns something much deeper a brother, an uncle, a cousin and a nephew. It is inconceivable that a family must endure yet another tragedy. My heart goes out to Caroline, to a sister who has lost that last link to a family that held such promise. This new tragedy is unfathomable on its own, yet the Kennedy's are then reminded of all that came before. Those images that have flashed before us for the past several days evoke emotion and conjure up memories to all that watch. For a grieving family it must only compound the sorrow that they feel in seeing all the joy and tragedy that they have endured together for what must seem like an eternity.

A certain amount of hope and promise fell out of the sky that night. The world seems just a little dimmer and colder, as if a bright light had been quashed. One wonders what will happen to the Kennedy's, what light will come out from the darkness, and who will carry the flame.

Arnold, Providence
Who ever said that we were all created equal? Class does have its privilage. It is terrible that the accident occured at all and three lives were snuffed out. But, that is just what it was - an accident. And, they happen every day to young and old. Other than a former President's son who was JFK, Jr.? He did nothing noteworthy that I am aware of.

Rachel Hill, Boston
I would just like to respond to the lack of compassion and emotion stemming from some of your readers with regard to the loss of John Jr. & the Bessette sisters. Some have mentioned overkill media attention because he's a Kennedy and no more deserving of coverage than you or I, money (how much we, as Americans, have spent to recover the bodies), while others talk about JFK Jr.'s magazine as being "half-witted." These kinds of comments reveal alot. I feel badly about the woman who was murdered on the Cape & I ALSO feel badly about the three young lives taken over the weekend. How scared they must have been as they reeled toward the Atlantic. Why must we always be mad about money or fame, trivialities, when lives have been lost in untimely death? Why is this the focus? I am saddened by both the images of a little boy saluting a dad and a young woman's smile under the heading of "MISSING." Focus on that.

I recently lost a very dear friend. The first death that really devestated me. Now John Jr dies. So much a head of him, so much not completed. The thing that bothers me the most is the realization that we never no when our time is up. It has made me realize my own mortality. I'm a few years younger than JFK, JR. Everytime I see him saluting his father's casket, all I can see is my son when my time comes. It is hard to think what will happen to my loved ones when it is my turn to pass. This may seem selfish, but this tragedy has made me look at my owm life with different eyes. Tell those special to you that you love them-tonight

Anonymous, Norwood
I grieve for the Kennedy, Bessette and Gosule families. But I do not understand why everyone is so concerned with the double standard between the tragedies. The Gosule case was the lead/front page story for well over a week and had every available law enforcement person searching for her and any clues. The tragic double standard is that people feel no hesitation to critizice JFK,Jr.'s judgment at this inappropriate time, but few people venture to wonder why this bright woman accepted a ride from a stranger in today's world. I don't criticize any of the victims, it is disrespectful to say the least as we all make mistakes and no one deserves to die for them. I only point out that while there may be advantages to being famous there are also disadvantages -- you are public property for all to judge where they would not dare judge a private person.

My condolences to all who have suffered a terrible loss.

Generation X
Our hope is gone. Our love is lost. Our leader is gone. I'm sitting here wondering what might have been. What was to come. A great leader? New hope? Compassion and respect for others? I do not know. I do not have these answers. But I feel certain that he was going to show us what all of these things were.

I'm saddened. For him. For the families. All Americans. The whole world. We've lost more than we know.

Pam, Boston
I think this is such a tragedy and a great loss. There is so much that could have been. Although I have always believed in God, I have only recently become more involved in church and faith. Tragic events and sudden deaths like this always make me wonder WHY? I have to believe that there is a reason and that God does have a plan for all of us. No one truly knows what happens to our souls or spirits when we die, but I want to believe that JFK Jr's spirit is very happy to be joined with his father and mother, reunited, and he is with his beloved wife as well. So even though we are sad, his spirit may be happy and peaceful.. God rest their souls...may the families find strength and peace somehow.

Let Sadness Turn to Gladness, Chicago
I don't see anything wrong with a nation grieving and coming together in love (better than a nation of non- caring cold-hearted cynical angry individuals). If only we could take our energies and use it wisely and constructively not only for the loss or pain we feel from this occurence, but for every misfortunate incident or life lost to help others, as John F. Kennedy probably did through experiencing the losses in his life.

I don't believe anyone who wants to watch or reflect on the lives John, Carolyn, or Lauren are wrong. They have been here quite a few years, and we won't see them again for as long as each of us live. I do pray for and respect their families for they need their privacy, and they need to grieve in peace in their own way. I hope God will surround them with His Love.

However, for the rest of us - even if we didn't personally know John, Carolyn, or Lauren in the flesh, we are all connected in the spirit by God as brothers and sisters. Let us all pray more and love more and enjoy our lives each day.

I hope we can turn our sadness into Gladness with God's hope in our hearts and be happy and pray that they have made it to the eternal shore of Heaven.

Chris Sullivan, Denver, CO
As a native of Scituate and having sailed often off Hyannis and the Islands, I have been moved by the media coverage of the recent events and the places I know well and miss much.............

Ode to John F. Kennedy, Jr.- 1960-1999

Well they're on the Piper Saratoga, And they're cruising by Long Island Sound, He has charted a course to the Vineyard, But that night they were No Man's Land bound,

He was a Lewis Bay man, like his father was before, Can't be a legend as a Bay man anymore. Believed that he should sail and not lie still in the harbor, Tell his nieces and nephews he is touring Atlantis and he still has his hands on the wheel.

Barely three when you lost your daddy, No dad to toss you the air, Your mom then taught you to be the best leader you could be, And your big, loving family took care.

JFK, Jr.'s now in the Sound, what is it that makes the world go "round" Blessed with vigah, class, looks and savvy, Found the perfect bride to make you happy, Thank you God for the gift of John, Jr., though in this life we hardly knew ya?.

Anonymous, Lynn
May the Kennedy and Bassette families find peace and comfort in the memories of their loved ones.

Dave, Billerica
Indeed it is a terrible tragedy whenever anyone dies unexpectedly; however, I feel no more saddened over this tragedy than I do over that poor girl murdered in the cape. The truth is, tragedies happen everyday. Why does the public cry out more because it was JFK jr? I think what is most lost on me, is the whole notion that the country lost some shining light that was going to lead us in the future. Where does this come from? JFK jr has never shown any promise to do anything but start a half-witted, trivial magazine. The only promise he has shown was that he could keep himself out of trouble, unlike most of his family. Now I don't want to make light of this tragedy, but I don't feel it warrants the kind of attention that is being paid.

Get over it folks, the Kennedy family was always a false hope. Maybe if they lived their lives more humbly instead of privileged, they could avoid scandal and tragedy.

John Clark, Chelsea
It is a tragedy that JFK Jr., his wife, and siter in law died. However, what is even more of a tragedy is the extent to which the nation stopped dead in its tracks to do everything possible to find the missing bodies. How much money was spent on finding these bodies? If it was John Smith from New York, who did not have millions of dollars nor the family name, do you think the nation would have acted the same way? And spent millions of the tax payers dollars to locate the corpses? No way. It is incredibly sad that these 3 great people died, but I am extremely troubled that the nation had to stop dead-in-its-tracks to engage in an expensive and resource wasting mission. Even though these people died was it necessary to spend so much money on locating their bodies? Life of the nation goes on despite the loss of a few good people and I just don't see the justification of the immense mission to locate the bodies.

Joy Quesenberry
Our family is deeply sadden by our nation's great loss as you are with the loss of such a wonderful family member. We are remembering all of you, and especially Caroline and family, at such a hard time in our daily prayers. God bless each one of you and I pray that you all will rely on His strength and guidance.

Laura, Boston
My thoughts, my prayers go out to both families. May God Bless you at this difficult time. Your loved ones may be gone but they will never be forgotten.

Adelina Bianco, Leominster
What a tragedy!!!! I prayed that they were all still alive but it wasn't possible. My relief was that they found the bodies and they did not suffer dieing. My prayers go out to both familes. I believe Rose Kennedy saying, "God dosen't send us any burden that we can't handle!!"

Mary Lousie and Richard Riley
My Thoughts and Prayers are with both families.

James and Marie Yeardie
Our Thoughts and Prayers are with both families.

Pam & Nelson Watson and Children
Our Thoughts and Prayers are with both families.

Elizabeth Lawver
My Thoughts and Prayers are with both families.

Diane ,Dan Minkus & Children
Our Thoughts and Prayers are with both families.

Andrea, Westfield
Agreed that this was a loss to have anyone die, regarless of family fame and fortune. And yes, most Americans, and people all over the world send the Kennedy and Bessette families their sincerest prayers and good wishes for family healing.

Now it is time for those who are "so stunned" and saddened by this news that they have become self consumed with grief that they have not been able to carry on with their own lives. People, Caroline Kennedy is perhaps the person most affected by this loss, along with the parents of the Bessette womenm. Caroline has been trying to return to a sense of normallcy by riding her bike with her husband around their Long Island home. If she can make an attempt to move forward, the rest of you sure as heck should.

Shannon and Mike Rose, Del Mar
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this very difficult time. May God grant you strength and may JOhn, Carolyna nd Lauren rest in peace.

Brian Lynch, Springfield
America's Golden Child Today we mourn the loss of America's Golden Child, The closest thing to royalty this country has. We've watched him grow up, from birth to adulthood, Even cried as he saluted the coffin of his beloved Dad. The joy he has brought to people's lives shall never be forgotten, For as long as we keep his memory alive and his dreams close to heart, He will always be with us, America's Golden Child. -John F. Kennedy, Jr. 1960-1999

Greg, Cambridge
Thank you, Chris from Cambridge. Your assessment hit the nail on the head. JFK symbolized "the American male ideal: a man of brash good looks who is masculine but sensitive, spontaneous, entrepreneurial, romantic, devoted to his mother and wife, a good-provider family man with a boyish side." There are a precious few models like that, and now one fewer. That is, indeed, why we are mourning.

Kate, Allston
Thank God the bodies have been found. Now, the Kennedys and Bessettes can start the healing process. I'm just hoping that in the next few days ahead as more information will be discovered about what exactly happened moments before the crash, the media will not play the "what-if" game. Wishing things turned out differently is one thing, and I, like many others, really wish that there were survivors on board. But the media continually saying "if only, if only," does no one any good, and may in fact slow the healing process for the families. For the same reason, the media also shouldn't focus on "the Kennedy curse", and reduce the way they chose to live to strange coincidences and ironies. May John Kennedy, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and Lauren Bessette all rest in peace.

I'm saddened by the loss, but sickened by the CONSTANT media coverage. Let them rest in peace, and let the families grieve in peace.

Connie, Newburyport
To JFK, Jr., his wife, and sister-in-law, forever a part of the sea: May you have fair skies and following seas, eternally. May your families feel, and be comforted by, your peaceful shadows flying high above the clouds and deep within the tides of time. God bless.

Peter & Marjorie Brown, Twin, MT
Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with both the Kennedy and Bessette Families. Being native Bostonians we have always had a special place in our hearts for the Kennedy family.

To Caroline and her family we send loving thoughts and our expression of sorrow at her loss.

May John, Carolyn and Lauren find peace in a better place. God Bless!!

Patty, El Paso
We truly are here for one brief shining moment. My prayers go to his sister,Caroline and Lauren's twin sister. They are, I am sure suffering indescribable pain and sorrow.

Michelle, Boston
This tragedy has touched my heart, and I have shed tears at the loss of 3 beautiful (inside and out) individuals. It is a great loss for the Kennedy and Bessette families and the world.

I do believe that the media, while doing their best to bring us the information, has done a diservice to the Kennedy and Bessette families. Local stations felt a need to have live coverage of the bodies being brought to Barnstable hopital and stuck cameras in the faces of grieving relatives every chance they got. They have turned this into a tabloid mess.

I am disappointed with the lack of information on the Melissa Gosule case. I had to search through half of one newspaper to find out if they had indeed charged that scumbag with murder.

I have more of a need to know if there is justice being served in the community than how JFKJR's family feels. It's obvious how they feel.

The media is not doing what they are intended to do. Instead of bringing us the facts, they are making quick speculations and rehashing the same information.

Angela Mulcahy, Everett
"Beannacht De Lena anam" (blessings be upon his soul) an Irish blessing for the dead. With deepest sympathy to the family of John Kennedy and his wife Carolyn and sister-in-law Lauren. May a perpetual light shine upon them and may they rest in peace. Amen.

Rodger Jackson, Canada
We hardly knew ye....... You were taken from us too early. Your potential will never be fully realized. God Bless.

Wendy Milks, Somerville
Having lost a family member in the last 5 years, I can only imagine the grief that Caroline feels, losing the only other member of her immediate family. I am also painfully conscious of the Bessettes' loss, in that my worst nightmare is that another of us might ever have to go. Two children--the burden of life for those remaining must be heavy.

Cathy, Pgh, PA
My family's thoughts and prayers are with the Kennedy and Bessette families during this tragedy. May John, Carolyn, and Lauren rest peacefully, and may the families find the strength to go on.

Janice Williams, Texas
John John

He was born a kennedy born into prosperity, He was raised with honor and dignity Our 35th Presidents son, John F. Kennedy Jr.,

images frozen in time, flash in my unforgotten mind the assination, the mourning of a nation, the salute, fatherless child in a little blue coat John John

as his ashes are carried away by the wind from the stern of the USS BRISCOE and his spirit flys free over the sea I WILL ALLWAYS REMEMBER A LITTLE BOY A MAN With a legacy all his own images frozen in time, flash in my unforgotten mind the assination, the mourning of a nation, the salute, fatherless child in a little blue coat John John

Carol Marcos, Chandler
My thoughts and Prayers are with both families. Such a loss, may the rest in peace

Patricia, Plymouth
I am in my early 60s and worked in John Kennedy Sr's campaign years ago....emotionally, all of us from the Boston area of this era hold this family as almost part of our own, and what happens to them is felt by all of us.....good or bad. This handsome son and his gorgeous wife were somehow a "hope" for us which means that life hasn't provided what we thought it would in our leaders....we feel the sadness because that light of hope seems extinguished, too soon and too tragically and we are left with a nagging sense of loss. May the faith that this family has sustain them through this time and know that the prayers and thoughts of each of us is with them. I hold dear the picture of John Sr. and John Jr. walking on the beach and know that John Sr and a grown-up John Jr. and Caroline are walking on a beach somewhere where pain, hurt, and sadness don't exist. Bless them all!

Beth Bronstein, Sharon
To the Kennedy and Bessette Families:

It is with great sorrow that I express my sincerest condolences from my family on this incredible loss to you. The shock and sadness is almost too much to bear, however, please take comfort in knowing that John, Carolyn and Lauren are with God now and safe from harm.

My family and I wish you peace and join with you in mourning three promising and magnificent young people who shall not be forgotten.


Beth, Marc, Jordan & Kyle Bronstein Norma & Bernard Block Sharon, Massachusetts

Laurie, Burlington
God always makes good out of what appears to be so bad. We may not know why immediately. Keep the faith and stay strong and trusting in God. That will get you everywhere. God Bless you all and the souls of John Jr., Carolyn, and Lauren. Never stop praying for them! Practice the Catholic faith and treasure ALL life and then someday you'll all be joined together again, as God has promised.

Mary Baker
Eternal Life I believe that we can live forever which means eternal life When we die, and go to paradise, we will never again have strife. There will be no pain, and sorrow no darkness, and, no night We will all be warm, and, happy, in the everlasting light. No one has ever seen, or heard the joys we will receive When the Lord comes back to get us, if in Him, we all believe. I think the Lord, will be waiting in His robes, of snowy white With His hands stretched out to greet us, for we are precious, in His sight. We will once again, see loved ones and see the Lord face, to face And we will all live together, in peace, and heavenly grace. - Mary Baker

Dixie, Framingham
My own thoughts on this sad event will remain my own. However, in response to a few of you who made some heartless comments I give you these words;

Comparing other tragedies to this one as a way of justifying your heartless feelings is sad for you. Just because people are saddened by these three deaths does not mean that we aren't also greatly saddened by Melissa's death or the other widely scattered random deaths throughout the world. True, that this one is receiving so much more attention in the media and naturally people are drawn to it for that reason... but PLEASE... to insinuate that this takes away from less publicized losses... is mindless. Every second somebody is dying and somebody is hurting because of it. Death is a fact. But the minute we no longer can feel sadness for any lives lost, is when we lose the heart of what bonds us... life AND death.

In addition, the man who suggested that having wealth and fame warrants less sympathy from the public, is apparently caught up in the myth that money not only makes you happy, but that it must also make you a cold, insensitive person. Neither of which is true for everyone. I've met very mean poor people and, as well, have met very mean rich people. People should be considered for who they are and not what they have. Fortunately, whether people agree or not, JFK Jr. was good and kind like his mother. He is a loss as much as Melissa is, who was also good and kind. We will all move on from our losses, whomever they may be, but let people feel it, why discourage it, at least people still have feeling, which is better than the alternative.

The judgements I have read in many of your comments is what I really find sad. We all have our burdens to bear,rich or poor, but it is those kinds of judgements that separate us.

Stephen Coker, Atlanta
I am just so sad. I cannot believe this has happened. My thoughts are consumed by all this need to know why. I believe they have crossed over to a better life, that makes me happy. The window is not the view, it allows the view. I am sure we will get through this, we as american people always do. Just think; they will always be young.

Leigh Edwards, Georgetown
I think that this is a very sad thing that could have happened, I just think it is so tragic for the Bessette family losing two daughters at one time. I really think it is great though that they will all be laid to rest together for eternity, and what's a more beautiful place then the ocean.

Tim Stetson, Williston
I feel that it is appropriate that the effort undertaken here was so large and expansive. I feel that the Kennedy family deserved the closure of today's services. They have provided so much to this country. John Jr. never truly got to know his father due to an assassins bullet, while serving our country in the highest possible public role we have. I hope and pray that the families are given space to grieve and that the grace of God support them through these terrible moments in life. God Bless.

Maria Chipman, Weymouth
Having lost family members at an early age myself, my thoughts and prayers are with the Kennedy and Bessett families. May god provide them with the strength that they now need. With deepest sympathy, The Chipman family

Edie Singleton, Burlington
My thoughts and prayers are with the Families. My hope that in time, the good memories will overtake the sorrow. With Deepest Sympathy, Edie Singleton.

Tom Conti, Medford
First, the Kennedy's and Bessette's have suffered a major loss to their families. Losing a loved one is the most painful that we all must endure. It is a private moment that should be spent with your family.

I have watched a fair amount of the coverage and I can't help but feel the media's frustration with the lack of the 'big' story or image. The Bessettes and Kennedys have gone to great lengths to be private and the media can't stand it. I was watching one of the local stations during the recovery of the bodies when the anchor made the rhetorical statement "Who would ever want to take a picture of the bodies?". Of course this statement was made while they had a live aerial shot of the salvage boat. The only thing I thought was what a hypocrite. Every media outlet would love a picture of the bodies or a breaking story. It is truly disgusting. I am sure the National Enquirer or New York Post will be publishing some picture that someone claims is the body of the victims of this accident. Another repulsive ation by several media outlets is the way they have camped out at the Kennedy compound. Their persistent scrutiny has turned their home from a place for family to gather and console each other to a glass bubble where every little movement is recorded by "Breaking New Reports". This is just too much. This is just another example how the media has declined to a point where privacy and respect are secondary to collecting the big story and the subsequent big payoff.

Give these families some respect and the chance to mourn!!!

De Anna Papa, Revere
I am a 22-year-old college student and I am hearing people again grieving for a man of our nation too young to die. I was not around for the Camelot years of the Kennedy family but somehow I have still grown up intrigued by this family. I have admired Jackie Kennedy for her elegance and grace in a life of misfortune and grief; and I have also admired Caroline and JFK Jr. for that same mystique, myth, and yet realism about them.

The death of President Kennedy always sparked an interest in me, I think probably because no matter whom you ask, no matter what age; they can remember where they were when the President was shot. That was the mystique of the Kennedy's that I admired and that is the mystique that lived on through JFK Jr.

JFK Jr., a man who could always put a smile on, and was able to laugh at himself and his choices, is no longer with us, but he will never be forgotten. Instead, he should be revered for all the pearls of wisdom he left behind,and the regret that I will never be able to see all the greatness he was to accomplish.

Donna, Framingham
The loss of JFK Jr is such a great loss for the nation. He was a knight in shining armor. He had the looks, charm, and intellegence to really succees in this country. I would have loved to have seen him follow in his father's footsteps and lead our country as his father did. He will be greatly missed and I'm sure I speak for many, many, many people.

Bernie Mango, Belmont
I am grateful to all media outlets for their tasteful coverage of this sad event. It has allowed the nation to mourn together and reassure each other that death cannot conquer life. This experience, especially this message board, has released from each of us the appropriate sense of compassion and support we all share as humans. Although well-known, these same feelings have been expressed for total strangers when we are given the opportunity. Who among us did not weep when baby Jessica was rescued at last from the well shaft she had fallen into? I am comforted in knowing that this outpouring of concern is truely available to all of us. It is merely circumstance that increases or diminishes the magnatude.

Priscilla Thibault, Danvers
I just feel absolutely awful that 3 beautiful, bright young individuals have left the American people with only memories and thoughts of what may have become of their fullfilled and still promising lives. My heart goes out to their families.

Denese Rhea Day, Arlington
John F. Kennedy, Jr. stood for all that is good and right in our country ... and its politics. He was a shining beacon to me and countless others who watched him grow into such a fine man. His light will shine on long after the memory of these past days fade. God bless you for the gifts you gave us Mr. Kennedy. And God bless you, too, Carolyn and Lauren. "Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest." -Hamlet ... Shakespeare

Matt, Boston
Although I wince at the tragic death of anyone, please consider:

JFK Jr.-- inherited fortune, famous name, aimless career moves, publisher of lackluster magazine, lived in Upper East Side apartment that cost a fortune. crashes into sea while flying in conditions beyond his experience. government will pay for his burial.

Melissa Gosule-- middle-class family, no fame at all, lived in JP. teacher at inner city school, part-time rape counselor, preparing to bicycle for AIDS charity. obviously murdered, believed to be sunken into a pond, actually stuffed into a shallow grave. family paying own expenses to dispose of body.

Now, who should have had the Navy divers, the all-effort search, the public outcry, and the free ride at taxpayer expense?

Beth, Andover
President JFK died for his country while serving as president. The 'extra' attention JFK Jr., Carolyn, and Lauren received during the search and recovery mission was one way the American people could thank JFK for serving his country. The American people took care of his son in the end.

Carl Fenger, Zurich, CH
The American dream gone up in smoke. Wealth, beauty, power, fame, youth, virility....all at the same time. These are the things our culture demands we strive for...worship and work like dogs for. The ultimate unspoken goal that most of us have bought into, hook line and sinker. The media reflect precisely what we crave: TV, magazine covers, advertisement all flaunt it because that's what we want to see, and what we want to be. And so few of us will ever come close to having these things - the few that do had a hell of a head start (like JFK Jr.). I'm sorry for his passing (and his companions), but I suspect that a significant part of the shock that we all feel comes from the sudden extinction of someone who actually reached the goal that most of us are running after....then suddenly, game over. Like the running back scoring the winning touchdown in the Superbowl breaks his neck and dies while slamming into the goal posts. A sneaking suspicion suddenly confirmed: perhaps we are missing the point and wasting our lives chasing things which are fleeting, unimportant, let alone unattainable.

Our Prince is gone-to whom do we pass the torch? To leave us so suddenly, to be embraced in Gods loving arms. He was John-John-the little brother to many of us who remember his fathers untimely departure- I was twelve then. I've followed his progress since then. He could have been and done so much-but God needed him more. After all, He only takes the best.Back Home to be with Him and his loved ones waiting for him. I wonder if it was his father who came for him. I hope so, they must have missed each other terribly. But it was fate, it was his time. And he took others with him who must have been called Home for a purpose. We will miss them. May God give comfort to the Kennedy and Bessette Families. Especially to Caroline. John-John is now her shining light. These words come to mind now, used for his father. They seem somehow appropriate now-"Johnny, we hardly knew ye." Rest in Peace John, Carolyn, and Lauren.

Tom Conti, Medford
I would like to express my sincere condolences to the Kennedy and Bessette families. The loss of a loved is never easy, but you can take solace in the many lives that they touched and the manner that they lived.

Walrus, Boston
Question for anyone. Is a Roman Catholic allowed to have their ashes dumped into the sea? I thought it was against the Roman Catholic religion to discard of ashes in this manner.

I've requested that my ashes by spread out over the Atlantic, for I, like Jon Jon, am emotionally attached to the sea. I was told that this is not acceptable in this religion. Was I given false imformation?

Tami Brown, Portland
My heart goes out to the families & friends during this time. I hope the criticism will stop and the media will allow them time to grieve and to put their loved ones to rest....that is whats important now. Let us all realize how precious life is and to make the best of it. Always let your loved ones know how you feel because they may need those thoughts to comfort them at any given time. Our prayers are with you Caroline and your family. May John, Carolyn and Lauren find peace in a better place. God Bless.

Shiva, Somerville
Sad as I am at the loss of three young lives, I must say John exhibited tremendous rashness in setting out on this journey. A pilot with no experience who sets out on a dark, hazy, moonless night over the fickle Atlantic is guilty of poor judgment bordering on recklessness and disrespect for the terrible forces of nature.

We all make mistakes. It is tragic that John had to pay for his mistake with his life and that of two others.

Al Stinson, Roxbury
Are that God will be with the families during these difficult times. And that the families celebrate the beautiful life of John, Carolyn, and Lauren, such that their spirits would continue to live through them and the rest of the country and the world.

A. Buttlar, Boston
I was saddened to hear about Carolyn, John, and Lauren's death. Carolyn was a roommate of mine a long time ago for a brief period and I remember her as a good-hearted person with a great, dry sense of humor. It doesn't matter if they were well known, or wealthy...their death still leaves an emptiness in the hearts of their families and friends.

Patrick, Boston
The life of John Kennedy, Jr. held a promise that the wounds of the 1960's might some day be healed. The murders of our country's leaders (JFK, Sr., RFK, and Martin Luther King, et al) the Vietnam War, the race riots, and the massive public protests left behind a posttraumatic anguish that has yet to be healed. Had JFK, Jr. held office as an elected official of our government, it might have enabled those of us that lived through the 1960's to finally breath a collective sigh of relief from those obscene and horrific events. Essentially, providing us with a sense of closure and victory over the senseless deaths and social chaos of that period; secure in the knowledge that something wonderful and sublime had finally been realized from that decade.

Arlene Evans, S.Boston
My heartfelt thoughts and prayers to all the families and loved ones of John, Carolyn and Lauren. God bless.

Dottie, Arlington
Didn't John and Carolyn have dogs? I wonder who's taking care of them. I'm very worried about them.


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