I am JFK Jr. is a documentary about John Fitzgerald Kennedy Junior’s life and death in an airplane. It’s a powerful film about a life on many levels, and well worth seeing.
John John became America’s little Prince when he gave a salute to his father’s casket after his father’s assassination. Everyone alive in America during that time knows to what photograph I refer, and we know how much a little boy carried our country during the heartbreak of JFK’s death. He carried our hearts and was too young to know.
John-John didn’t like being called John-John as he grew up, which isn’t surprising. It’s loaded with family expectations. Imagine the pressure to live up to the Kennedy’s family honor/curse. He might have been more like his mother’s Bouvier side of the family. Thanks to his mother Jackie, both he and his sister Caroline were protected and provided with multiple body guards. After Jackie married Aristotle Onasis, the family moved and lived a great amount of time on a private island. John Jr. was sheltered from publicity and given as normal an upraising as people of great wealth fame and power could have.
John Jr. grew up in front of a camera that exposed every part of his life, and he managed to be authentic in both his private and public life as possible. He seemed to act sincerely and cared about people. Testimony from interviewed people who knew him said John Jr. behaved with integrity and acted like a friend. He experienced many joys in his life, and at the end of his life, his loving marriage made him happy, even for a short time. John’s death was a blow because he was a good man who was cut down in the beginning of making his own life.
I still think of John-John as my little brother. When my brother died, John Jr. was about his age, and his dark haired looks were close enough for me to think of him as he resembled my dead brother. I was grateful to see John Jr. in photographs and TV conversations to watch him develop and grow.
When his mother Jacqueline died, John left her home and came onto the street. He faced hundreds of reporters and announced to the world that his beloved mother had died. It was quite a life moment, both in journalism and the beginning of his life as an adult. John Jr. showed composure and grace, command of himself with strong character. Very moving, and his classy style would have made his mother proud.
America’s loss of JFK Jr. will never be calculated because he died before he grew into himself. We missed having a beautiful American leader, and he was a good person who might have gone into politics. His death is ancient history, and we are far away from dignity, as JFK Jr. represented. It is such a loss.