JFK NEPHEW THANKS NAURU
This morning [November 22, 2002], the 39th anniversary of the assassination of JFK, I was surfing the telescreen to monitor JFK coverage. I came across GOOD MORNING AMERICA'S interview with Max Kennedy, a son of Robert and a nephew of JFK. He was involved with National Geographic in last year's search for the PT-109, a special of which will be broadcast this weekend.
While in the Solomon Island area Max went to visit the two natives who are credited with saving JFK's life, and those of his ten surviving crew members. The film footage of Max Kennedy's meeting with the natives is extremely emotional. Two sons of one of the rescuers were introduced, and one of them is named John F Kennedy. He is a strikingly handsome young man with fine features and a gentle, sweet manner. The camera follows Max as he meets and then shakes the hand of one of the rescuers, saying "Thank you so much". The thin and now shrunken old man is overcome with emotion and buries his head in Max's shoulder sobbing uncontrollably.
During this interview an issue was cleared up which had eluded me all these years. I've never known for sure whether or not JFK and the natives who rescued him had actually met again or if they had just intended to. And that got cleared up today. It turns out that JFK DIDN'T get to meet them again.
All the best,
Jackie Jura, November 22, 2002
Here's a partial transcript of the television interview:
Hostess: Max Kennedy had an emotional union with the men who thought someday they would get to meet the stranger whom they had rescued, whom they thought had become the chief of a great country... But thousands of miles away in the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific that promise went unfulfilled. It was a promise made by President Kennedy when he was a young navy lieutenant to return and see two men, Solomon Island natives, who had rescued him after his PT-109 boat was sunk during WWII. Kennedy was just 26 years old at that time. The story of how Kennedy saved his PT-109 crew has become the stuff of legend. They were found days later by two native scouts, Aaron and Biuku Gaza. It was these two islanders whom Kennedy promised one day he would meet again. But their re-union would never have a chance to take place... Nearly 60 years later it would be Kennedy's nephew, Max, who would come on behalf of the family to thank the men ...What an emotional scene. Tell me about it.
Max: They, Aaron & Biuko, were invited by President Kennedy to come to the Inauguration and unfortunately and horribly they were turned away just before they left the Solomon Islands and were never allowed to leave and it irritated President Kennedy very much. And I think my family has always wanted to meet these men and it was really incredible and so wonderful just to get a chance to.
Hostess: And as you went on this odyssey what did you learn that you didn't know from the family conversations?
Max: Oh, just so many things. It was an amazing opportunity to go there, to see those islands. First of all, I would say, was to see how unbelievably close the island that President Kennedy swam to was to the Japanese base. You could actually see figures walking along the beach head where the Japanese headquarters was located. So they were in constant mortal danger.
Hostess: ...It is a sombre anniversary for your family - the anniversary of the assassination. I just wondered, does each of you observe it in a different way? Do some of you get together to do it the same way?
Max: It's a time of reflection for every member of our family. Obviously my mother celebrates the sacrament of Daily Mass and will continue to do that and go with Senator Kennedy to President Kennedy's graveside. But all of us deal with it in various ways. It's a painful time for any member of any family, an anniversary like that. But I think, as you say, it's a reflective time and we deal with it in various ways.
Hostess: Thank you Max. It was good to have you. What a scene that was, fulfilling your uncle's promise made so long ago.
PT-109 HIT BY TSUNAMI
Tsunami hits South Pacific's Solomons (see map of area). ABC, Apr 1, 2007
Gizo at center of tsunami fears (see view from Gizo). BBC, Apr 1, 2007
Aussies injured in Solomon Islands (by opponents of corrupt PM). BBC, Apr 18, 2006. Go to 5.Pyramidal New World Order
JFK'S BOAT & COCONUT
JFK'S LETTER TO SOLOMON ISLANDS
JFK STORY OF PT-109 (as told to New Yorker magazine by JFK and crew, published in 1944)
~ SEARCHING FOR JFK'S ...boat (instead of his killers). Globe & Mail, May 25, 2002
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