Kennedy Museum reflects on 20-year anniversary of JFK Jr. passing

US & World

HYANNIS, Mass. (WPRI) — Tuesday marked the 20th anniversary of the tragic plane crash that claimed the life of John F. Kennedy Jr. along with his wife and her sister.

Kennedy, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and her sister Lauren were on their way to Martha’s Vineyard for the wedding of his cousin Rory Kennedy. JFK Jr. was piloting the single-engine airplane that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.

The trio had left from Essex County Airport in Caldwell, New Jersey. Kennedy had checked in with the control tower but the plane was reported missing after it failed to arrive on time.

The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum has a special exhibit this week in his honor.

Many visitors say they remember the tragedy like it was yesterday.

“We were on a ferry boat going from Hyannis to Nantucket to visit friends and we had seen the compound with all the tents set up for the wedding activities,” museum visitor Ivy Cole recalled.

The museum says it was a natural decision to set up an exhibit on this somber anniversary.

“Many people associate Cape Cod with the Kennedys and the Kennedys with Cape Cod,” Executive Director John Allen said. “He would pop into the museum and never tell the employee that purchased his ticket that he was John Jr.”

The museum is displaying videos and photographs that have never been seen by the public. Some were approved by Caroline Kennedy.

Many visitors agreed it left them thinking about what could have been.

“It’s hard to believe its been 20 years since he’s passed,” Cole added. “I still feel his presence, especially among these pictures.”

The special exhibit runs through the end of the year.

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