Bill Clinton photo

Remarks at the Gravesite Service for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in Arlington, Virginia

May 23, 1994

We are joined here today at the site of the Eternal Flame, lit by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis 31 years ago, to bid farewell to this remarkable woman whose life will forever glow in the lives of her fellow Americans.

Whether she was soothing a nation grieving for a former President or raising children with the care and the privacy they deserve or simply being a good friend, she seemed always to do the right thing in the right way. She taught us by example about the beauty of art, the meaning of culture, the lessons of history, the power of personal courage, the nobility of public service, and most of all, the sanctity of family.

God gave her very great gifts and imposed upon her great burdens. She bore them all with dignity and grace and uncommon common sense. In the end, she cared most about being a good mother to her children. And the lives of Caroline and John leave no doubt that she was that, and more.

Hillary and I are especially grateful that she took so much time to talk about the importance of raising children away from the public eye. And we will always remember the wonderful, happy times we shared together last summer.

With admiration, love, and gratitude for the inspiration and the dreams she gave to all of us, we say goodbye to Jackie today. May the flame she lit so long ago burn ever brighter here and always brighter in our hearts.

God bless you, friend, and farewell.

NOTE: The President spoke at 2:05 p.m. at Arlington National Cemetery.

William J. Clinton, Remarks at the Gravesite Service for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in Arlington, Virginia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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