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By Susan Muaddi Darraj

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Kennedy, on being asked accompanied the glory of about becoming a war hero battle. ” THE BURDEN OF THE ELDEST Although Jack was safe after his ordeal at sea, the devastation of the war years was not quite over for the Kennedys. ’s plane had exploded, killing the star Kennedy son. The family was devastated, especially Jack, who understood that Joe Jr. had volunteered for the mission, known to be a dangerous one, even though he had already satisfied his commitments to the Navy. It seemed probable that in the wake of Jack’s fame in the PT-109 incident, Joe Jr.

Because McCarthy was a close friend of the Kennedy family (he had been an usher in Bobby’s wedding and had dated Eunice—another sister— for some time), many of his Senate colleagues did not see it that way. They thought Jack had avoided voting against a friend, that he had backed down from a true test of courage. Jack was troubled by the implications. While resting at Palm Beach, he thought long and hard about what “courage” meant. McCarthy had certainly disgraced the Senate, but Jack knew that many senators in the past had defended their ideals, even risking unpopularity to do so.

Kick, and others in their prime. Given his many illnesses, he wondered, for the first time, if he would also die young. q 7/14/03 8:43 AM Page 48 JOHN F. KENNEDY SENATOR KENNEDY On October 2, 1950, Honey Fitz died of a heart attack in Boston. It was yet another blow to the family. S. Senate for the state of Massachusetts. , a veteran senator whose father had been a sworn political enemy of Honey Fitz. This only made Jack more determined to win, and he campaigned harder than he ever had in his life despite frequent attacks of Addison’s disease and increasing back pain.

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