Love for Strangers

Why do we mourn so for J.F.K. Jr. when some of us wouldn't feel the same grief for a relative?

I have no statistics on this, but conversations with friends and dozens of person-on-the-street interviews I saw and heard last week convince me that a lot of Americans felt a sense of personal loss at the death of John F. Kennedy Jr. Their grief was palpable and clearly genuine. Yet I couldn't help wondering how many would have reacted this way to the death of a relative. A mother or father, sure. But what about Uncle John, who lives across town; or Cousin Tara, who moved to another state; or even Grandma, whom we see once or twice a year, from...

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