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JFK Tribute to Older Brother Resurfaces

Jan. 20, 1964 - A little known tribute that President Kennedy wrote in memory of his older brother, Joseph, who was killed in World War II, came to light today. Redbook magazine, printing excerpts from what it called Mr. Kennedy’s “least known published work,” said the words “spring up from the page today with painful relevance.” The book, “As We Remember Joe,” was printed privately in 1945. There were only 40 copies.

President Kennedy wrote of his brother: “It is the realization that the future held the promise of great accomplishment for Joe that has made his death so particularly hard for those who knew him. His worldly success was so assured and inevitable that his death seems to have cut into the natural order of things. But at the same time, there is a completeness to Joe’s life, and that is the completeness of perfection. His life as he lived, and finally as he died, could hardly have been improved upon. And through it all,” Mr. Kennedy continued, “he had a deep and abiding faith — he was never far from God — and so I cannot help but feel that death to him was less a setting forth than a returning.”


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