Kennedys, BessetteBy Harold Morse
A local memorial Mass for John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, Carolyn, and his sister-in-law Lauren Bessette ended on a light note last night as participants sang "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling."
When the tune ended, about 150 people from many walks of life applauded at St. Augustine By-The-Sea Waikiki.
Kennedy family friend and Honolulu writer Kristin Zambucka, who arranged the Mass, gave the eulogy, recalling JFK Jr. was born Nov. 25, 1960, 2 weeks after his father was elected president.
Tragedy struck three days short of three years later when the boy lost his father, and no one could forget the image of a small boy saluting his father's casket Nov. 25, 1963, on the boy's third birthday, she said.
'John F. Kennedy Jr.
was literally born in our living room
and raised on our TV.'
The Rev. Thomas Choo
WHO CELEBRATED LAST NIGHT'S MASS
AT ST. AUGUSTINE BY-THE-SEA WAIKIKI
Jacqueline Kennedy always feared for her children, thinking they might be next, Zambucka said. This was aggravated by the assassination of her late husband's brother, Robert, she added.
JFK Jr. could never avoid being a public figure, but he remained a well-rounded person, Zambucka said. "He made his life normal as it could be."
"Most women melted in front of John," Zambucka said. But the one he later married, Carolyn, didn't. Instead, she was a "challenge," she said.
Zambucka recalled the secret wedding the couple had Sept. 21, 1996, with only family and close friends in attendance. "He had found a true soul mate in Carolyn. They were very much in love."
Another part of JFK Jr.'s life was the founding of George magazine, she said.
The Rev. Thomas Choo celebrated the Mass.
"John F. Kennedy Jr. was literally born in our living room and raised on our TV," Choo said.
"We may not have his wealth or connections. We may never touch as many lives as he has, but in our place each of us has our own way. We have people in our own lives."
Following the service, Cecilia Febrero of Makakilo, a free-lance photographer, said she attended "to pay respects to someone I greatly admire as a fellow journalist."
Liane Kim, who lives near Punahou, said she was in Boston attending a conference when the Kennedy plane went down.
"It had a tremendous impact on me," as the death of President Kennedy in 1963 remained etched in her memory, she said.