By Jim Smith
BOSTON — As the world grieves the loss of John F. Kennedy Jr., residents of this, the most Irish of American cities are paying tribute to his memory.
"We hear a lot about royalty, but the Kennedys achieved success through the kind of hard work that so many Irish Americans can relate to," said former Boston mayor and Vatican ambassador Raymond Flynn.
Flynn said that JFK Jr. once told him during a conversation in Central Park that he might someday run for major political office.
"But he didn’t want anything handed to him — he wanted to accomplish things on his own first," Flynn said. "That’s why so many of us with Irish roots feel connected to him and his family."
Flynn said he had "no doubt" that, had JFK Jr. lived, he would have followed in is father’s footsteps toward the U.S. presidency.
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Sister Lena Deevy, executive director of the Irish Immigration Centre, said that her feelings were of "sadness and disbelief." She said that her friends and family in Ireland are similarly stunned by the news. "All we can do now is pray, for the Kennedys and for the Bessette family," she said.
Denise McCool of the IIC said that JFK Jr.’s death evoked feelings of déja vu. "His father’s death was such a tragic event in history, and now this," she said. "It’s very sad that this family is faced with so many tragic losses."
Cardinal Bernard Law also recalled the assassination of JFK in a press statement issued Monday: "In the darkness of night, death came swiftly and unannounced . . . although no human life is more precious than another to God, the world stopped for a moment, held its breath and whispered, ‘No, not again.’ "