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By Taylor Hartz
BU News Service
WASHINGTON — Jean Kennedy Smith, the last surviving sibling of the late President John F. Kennedy, laid a wreath at her brother’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery Friday morning, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the president’s assassination in Dallas, Texas.
The 85-year-old Smith, a former ambassador to Ireland, and about 10 other members of the Kennedy family held hands in a moment of silent prayer after each laid a red rose at the site of The John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame, where the late president and his wife, Jacqueline, are buried. Two of his two brothers, Sen. Robert Kennedy, D-N.Y. – assassinated in 1968 – and Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., who died of cancer in 2009, are buried nearby.
The Kennedy family’s red, white and blue wreath was placed above the flickering flame, with a wreath of white lilies from President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama laying on the ground beside it. The Obamas had paid a visit to the Kennedy gravesite two days earlier.
Prior to the laying of the Kennedy family wreath, Pipe Major Richard Grisdale and Private Jamie McDonald of Scotland’s Black Watch Regiment Pipes and Drums performed beside the grave. President Kennedy had expressed admiration for the Black Watch Regiment just weeks before his death, leading his widow to request that they perform at his 1963 funeral.