FORMER United States Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy arrived in Manila on Tuesday where several activities have been lined up for her, including a visit to the American Cemetery and Memorial in Taguig City and tea with the daughters of the late president Corazon Aquino.
Accompanied by US Ambassador to Manila Sung Kim, Kennedy visited the US cemetery in Taguig City where she paid her respects to the American soldiers killed in World War 2. She also saw the mosaic maps and “wall of the missing.”
In a brief statement to media, Kennedy, daughter of the late president John F. Kennedy, said she was excited to be in the country for the first time.
“This is my first trip to the Philippines and I very much wanted to visit this country which has played such an important role in American history,” she said.
The older of the two children of John and Jacqueline Kennedy said she had so many wonderful memories of all the Filipinos who served with her father in the White House.
Her younger brother, John Jr., died in a plane crash with his wife, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, and her sister Lauren, off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts in July 16, 1999. Former president Kennedy was assassinated in Texas in 1963. After her husband’s death, the former first lady married Greek billionaire Aristotle Onasis, who passed away in March 1975. She died in 1994.
“I know that there are some crewmembers memorialized here so I wanted to come and pay my respects. I am very excited to be here, and I look forward to a great couple of days.” Kennedy said.
The US embassy did not provide further details on the visit of Kennedy but she was scheduled to meet with the Aquino sisters for tea, according to the youngest and media personality Kris Aquino.
In a press conference last week, Aquino said she and her sisters — Maria Elena “Ballsy” Aquino-Cruz, Aurora Corazon “Pinky” Aquino-Abellada, and Victoria Elisa “Viel” Aquino-Dee — were invited to have tea with Kennedy.
Kennedy is also set to attend a student exchange poetry program organized by a US non-government organization that she was supporting.
Kennedy is an attorney and the editor of nine New York Times best-selling books on constitutional law, American history, politics and poetry, according to research by The Manila Times.
She was confirmed by the US Senate to be Ambassador to Japan on October 16, 2013 under then president Barack Obama.
She is Honorary President of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and a member of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award Committee. A graduate of Harvard University and Columbia Law School, she is also Honorary Chair of the Senior Advisory Committee of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University.
From 2002 to 2011, Kennedy was vice chairman of the Fund for Public Schools, which raised over $280 million to support public school reform and engaged a record number of New Yorkers to volunteer in New York City schools.
Kennedy is married to Edwin Arthur Schlossberg, president of Edwin Schlossberg Inc., a multi-disciplinary design company that specializes in interactive exhibit design and museum master-planning. They have three children. CATHY MODESTO