Following are excerpts of the eulogy delivered in New York yesterday by John F. Kennedy Jr.'s uncle, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.):
Once, when they asked John what he would do if he went into politics and was elected president, he said, "I guess the first thing is call up Uncle Teddy and gloat." I loved that. It was so like his father.
From the first day of his life, John seemed to belong not only to our family, but to the American family.
The whole world knew his name before he did.
A famous photograph showed John racing across the lawn as his father landed in the White House helicopter and swept up John in his arms. When my brother saw that photo, he exclaimed, "Every mother in the United States is saying, `Isn't it wonderful to see that love between a son and his father, the way that John races to be with his father.' Little do they know, that son would have raced right by his father to get to that helicopter."
But John was so much more than those long ago images emblazoned in our minds. He was a boy who grew into a man with a zest for life and a love of adventure. He was a Pied Piper who brought us all along. He was blessed with a father and mother who never thought anything mattered more than their children.
When they left the White House, Jackie's soft and gentle voice and unbreakable strength of spirit guided him surely and securely to the future. He had a legacy, and he learned to treasure it. He was part of a legend, and he learned to live with it. . . .
He had amazing grace. He accepted who he was, but he cared more about what he could and should become. He saw things that could be lost in the glare of the spotlight. And he could laugh at the absurdity of too much pomp and circumstance.
He loved to travel across the city by subway, bicycle and Rollerblade. He lived as if he were unrecognizable, although he was known by everyone he encountered. He always introduced himself, rather than take anything for granted. He drove his own car and flew his own plane, which is how he wanted it. He was the king of his domain.
He thought politics should be an integral part of our popular culture, and that popular culture should be an integral part of politics. He transformed that belief into the creation of George. John shaped and honed a fresh, often irreverent journal. His new political magazine attracted a new generation, many of whom had never read about politics before. . . .
He was the son who quietly gave extraordinary time and ideas to the Institute of Politics at Harvard that bears his father's name. He brought to the institute his distinctive insight that politics could have a broader appeal, that it was not just about elections, but about the larger forces that shape our whole society.
John . . . was the Kennedy who loved us all, but who especially cherished his sister, Caroline, celebrated her brilliance, and took strength and joy from their lifelong mutual admiration society.
And for a thousand days, he was a husband who adored the wife who became his perfect soul mate. John's father taught us all to reach for the moon and the stars. John did that in all he did -- and he found his shining star when he married Carolyn Bessette. . . .
We loved Carolyn. She and her sister Lauren were young, extraordinary women of high accomplishment -- and their own limitless possibilities. We mourn their loss and honor their lives. The Bessette and Freeman families will always be part of ours.
John was a serious man who brightened our lives with his smile and his grace. He was a son of privilege who founded a program called Reaching Up to train better care-givers for the mentally disabled.
He joined Wall Street executives on the Robin Hood Foundation to help the city's impoverished children. And he did it all so quietly, without ever calling attention to himself.
John was one of Jackie's two miracles. He was still becoming the person he would be, and doing it by the beat of his own drummer. He had only just begun. There was in him a great promise of things to come. . . .
We dared to think . . . that this John Kennedy would live to comb gray hair, with his beloved Carolyn by his side. But like his father, he had every gift but length of years. . . .
God bless you, John and Carolyn. We love you and we always will.