America remembers Kennedy and the promise of what could have been, 50 years on

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Dallas was the focus of the 50th anniversary ceremonies held for the late President John F. Kennedy, but America as a whole mourned the loss of the man, the country’s youngest president, and the promise he represented for the future.

Several thousand people braved the weather to gather in Dealey Plaza, where Kennedy was shot, to unveil a plaque immortalising part of the speech he was due to give in the city, but never made.

“We the people of Dallas honour the life, legacy and leadership of the man who called us to think not of our own interest, but of our country’s,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.

At Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, where wife Jackie and two of their children along with brother Robert are also buried, family members gathered. White House and government officials including President Barack Obama made their visits earlier.

The resonance of the Kennedy clan and America’s first Catholic president could also be felt on the other side of the pond in Ireland, the family’s country of origin, where the anniversary was marked with full honours in New Ross, County Wexford at the JFK Memorial park.

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