Jump to content
The Education Forum


Recommended Posts

Missing JFK Jr.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 November 2010 13:59 Friday, 26 November 2010 13:57 Written by Anthony Coates Many years ago I took my daughter Courtney to the Mill Pond in Setauket. If you live in the Three Village area walks around the Mill Pond are a right of passage and an experience that bonds families. On that particular day I remember watching a team of ducks float over to us looking for food, we threw them some bread and after they ate the last crumbs we offered, the ducks tired of us and scattered purposefully and took to the sky flapping their wings furiously. Courtney asked "where are they going" and I said "who knows where"?

Thanksgiving Day marked the anniversary of the birth of John F. Kennedy, Jr. John would have been fifty. JFK Jr. and I started life with a bond, we were born about two weeks part. After the close election of 1960 and as the magic of the Kennedys began to unfold my Mother was always proud of the fact that John and I were born so close together, so were a lot of kids, but, for my family it had special meaning. You can't help, or at least I couldn't, be a kid born in 1960 and not have been moved by the Kennedy years. Life seemed more simple but people seemed to want to soar. With those first chilled breaths at the podium JFK inspired this nation to "do better" and for a time it seemed we were.

In my 20's my political involvement had me cross paths with the Kennedys, as I met and became friends with most of the family; very heady stuff for a kid born in '60. I traveled with Uncle Ted during the 1980 Presidential campaign, worked with Joe when ran for Congress, helped Bobby Jr. raise money for Riverkeeper and got to know most all of the kids including John. John was always different than the other Kennedy kids, quieter, more introspective. John was in many ways what I imagined his father to be. There was a smooth dignity to John, an elegance and grace.

To know John was to feel the warm tug and embrace of his friendship. John was an incredibly thoughtful man. As his Uncle Ted said "we all knew his name before he knew his own" yet John was never about his celebrity, let's face it the guy had everything going for him, great looks, charming, lots of money, a pretty damn good name, yet, if you walked into a room with John, he introduced himself to people as "John". As his Uncle Ted also said "John had every gift except length of life".

I remember distinctly that eerie weekend that John disappeared. It was hot and humid. I was in my home in Connecticut and the air conditioning had died. I was heading up to the Kennedy compound with a friend, not to attend Rory Kennedy's wedding, but, to attend a reuniting of staffers that would take place that weekend. As I stepped out of the shower, running late, I was immediately covered in sweat and the phone rang, and old friend told me John's plane had been lost. You have to remember this was all on the heels of Princess Diana's death and once again a silent thud hit. I sat glued to the television and the phone for days, finally, it became clear John, Carolyn and Lauren would not come back alive. A bitter reality set in…another Kennedy gone, another hope extinguished.

I think back to John often. I think about his hope and promise and I think what might have been. Not just politically but what kind of man he would have become. I think about John's Pied Piper quality and the decent humility he carried. To this day however when I hear a plane soar overhead I think of John and that fateful night and I think that John is out there, looking over us, flying, to who knows where.


Edited by Bernice Moore
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now
  • Create New...