Posted by MMMMarcia on July 24, 1999 at 17:19:49:
In Reply to: Interesting, but strange posted by Petra on July 23, 1999 at 23:00:21:
There are several different things at play here that you may not understand, or that just may affect you differently. While I do not believe anyone wishes for a monarchy in America, I think it is a perfectly natural human condition to wish for a HERO from time to time. We may not always pick the right people, but we are certainly not abnormal for looking for someone we can hold up as an example of the things we would like to find in ourselves.
With John, Jr., however, it is a LOT more than that. There are many of us who were personally touched by the Kennedy years, and formed many of our ideas of what life ought to be during that time. Politics aside, JFK was a charismatic and very popular president, much beloved by many, many people in this country, and all the human failings he may have had will never change that fact. His son was a link to those days when a lot of us were young & idealistic, and hoping to help create a better world. I don't think idolatry enters into this sadness over his death at all (as witnessed by all the people who have said they loved him because he was such a nice man and "one of them"). I believe that what is primarily at play here is simply a grief for the loss of the things that might have been. Unrealistic or not, many of us hoped John might become a man we could someday support in an honorable and honest political career...a second chance at Camelot, if you will.
As for the military funeral at sea, as Champ stated, you were misinformed about that. It was a completely civilian service, and one that is not reserved for members of the Kennedy family, by any means. Yes, there were extensions granted in the search for the victims and their plane, but I think they were completely reasonable given the fact that this was the son of a president who gave his life in the service of his country...not to mention the fact that President Kennedy was a bona fide war HERO, himself. I don't believe it was improper in any way, and think, in fact, that had they given up before finding these young people, the outcry would have been enormous.
As for the many, many tragedies that occur to people in every walk of life, we cannot grieve for those we have never heard of. It's as simple as that. My heart goes out to every single victim I DO hear about on the nightly news or read about in the morning paper, believe me. But those that I have known OF and ABOUT for most of my life are the people I grieve the most for when a tragedy of this nature occurs. Somehow, that doesn't seem unreasonable to me, either.
And finally, Jayne wondered why she had not heard of any ofJohn's "good works" before now. The many charities and causes that JFKjr was involved with have apparently remained "unsung" for a long time because that was the way he wanted it. He was never looking for praise or publicity in that area, he was just doing the things he thought were important and right. I respect him for this, and for the fact that he seemed to be the best and brightest of a family that (like 'em or not) has always believed in service to their country.
Like Champ, I will carry the image of John-John saluting his father's flag-draped casket for all of my days. And I will always wonder what he might have made of himself in a few more years.
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