May 29,th 2017 was marked as the 100th year anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s birth, a centennial . In a video, Rose, Tatiana, and Jack Kennedy Schlossberg reflect on their grandfather’s legacy.
“One of the defining relationships in my life is with someone I have never met,” Tatiana, who is a climate change reporter for the New York Times, explains. Studying history is how she connects with him, and yet, she understands that his true legacy doesn’t lie in waxing nostalgic for the 1960s.
“While my grandfather had reverence for the past and the lessons it could impart, he also knew that America was a country where change was possible, where we aren’t bound solely by tradition, if we understand the past with which we are breaking.”
Tatiana’s sister Rose, who looks so much like her grandmother Jackie it’s almost uncanny, too makes a point of emphasizing the future while reflecting upon the past.
“I’m inspired by my grandfather’s sense of equality, his courage for naming the injustices in American society, and his call for action. His words and his ideals mean so much to me and to the world we live in today. But we are still faced with tremendous inequality and injustice from voting rights to our criminal justice system, and mass incarceration,” she says.
“My grandfather would be proud of how far we’ve come as a nation since 1963, but he’d have been the first to tell us that we have a long way to go.”
And Jack, who increasingly seems like he could have plans to enter the family business, channels personal reflections into his own call to action.
“My generation will inherit a complicated world with countless unsolved problems. Climate change is just one of them. But it’s the type of challenge I think my grandfather would have been energized about and eager to solve,” he says.
“He cared deeply about the environment, about science and technology. And he recognized that only if America leads the world in solving global problem can we make sure that it’s done right.”
Great challenges are opportunities,” Jack says. “I know that we’re up to the task, but we have to demand action from our leaders, and we have to vote.”