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Fifty years after President John F. Kennedy's inaugural speech on Jan 20, 1961, Kennedy family members gathered in Washington yesterday to mark the 35th president’s legacy.
Speaking at a ceremony in the Capitol’s rotunda Caroline Kennedy told the press that she believed her father had expanded and redefined the idea of what it means to be an American citizen. "He believed that everybody has something to contribute and everybody has something to give back to this country that’s given us so much," Kennedy said. "It’s not just an obligation, but it’s really a rewarding experience and really a belief in government and politics as a noble profession."
Kennedy joined members of her father’s administration and members of the first class of the Peace Corps, which her father established, to mark the 35 president’s legacy.
Vice President Joe Biden, who spoke at the event, said Kennedy’s cause was to bring America back to what it should be. "His call to service literally, not figuratively, still resounds from generation to generation," Biden said.
In 2011 the Kennedy families political profile in Washington has diminished. This year, for the first time in 63 years, no one with the Kennedy name is serving in elected office.
The 50 anniversary will mark the opening of special new exhibits at the Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, featuring a handwritten draft of Kennedy’s inaugural address and the family Bible on which he was sworn in.
Later on Thursday evening about 100 members of the Kennedy gathered at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The center is opening three weeks of performances that will recreate moments from the Kennedy White House, now known as Camelot.