The Kennedy family on Saturday celebrated the 50-year anniversary of John F. Kennedy's visit to Ireland in 1963, while serving as President of the United States.
During a daylong street celebration, Caroline Kenney offered a speech to a crowd who had gathered to celebrate the 1963 visit of John F. Kenny Jr., America's first Catholic president. The festivities were held near New Ross, a town near County Wexford where Patrick Kennedy was born before departing in 1848 at the height of Ireland's potato famine. More than a century later, his great grandson returned in what became a memorable moment in history for Ireland.
JFK's only surviving sibling, Jean Kennedy Smith, and his only surviving child, Caroline Kennedy, marked the celebrations with the passing of three torch flame meant to represent the Kennedy legacy.
"May it be a symbol of the fire in the Irish heart, imagination and soul," Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny began, gesturing towards the flame.
Jack Kennedy, Caroline Kenney's 20-year-old son who has ambitions of following in his grandfather's footsteps, carried out the bulk of the ceremony. He offered a promising message directed at both Ireland and the citizens of the U.S.
"We have been told over and over that America is no longer the great country that it was when my grandfather was president," he said, noting that his generation would "inherit a series of problems that previous generations refused to address."
But acknowledging that the people of Ireland had survived through much worse, he suggested that there was promise in the Kennedy torch.
"The glow from this flame can truly light the world," he said.
The Kennedy eternal flame began its journey by aircraft from JFK's plot in Arlington Cemetery to Dublin, where it was picked up by an Irish navy vessel and then traveled up the River Barrow to the New Ross dockside.