POLITICS
06/25/2013 09:24 am ET

Caroline Kennedy Lights Memorial Flame In Ireland, Marking 50th Anniversary Of JFK Visit (PHOTOS)

Caroline Kennedy helped Ireland celebrate the 50th anniversary of her father's visit to the country by lighting an eternal flame Saturday.

According to UPI, Kennedy lit the flame in New Ross, the County Wexford town her great-great-grandfather left in 1848.

A torch lit from the eternal flame at President John F. Kennedy's graveside arrived in Ireland on June 20.

The AP reports on the ceremony:

The flame had been carried Olympics-style from JFK's plot in Arlington Cemetery by aircraft to Dublin, then by Irish navy vessel up the River Barrow to the New Ross dockside. It was the first time the Kennedy eternal flame had been passed along in this fashion.

"May it be a symbol of the fire in the Irish heart, imagination and soul," Kenny told more than 10,000 who had gathered along the river bank.

Several members of Ireland's Special Olympics team helped carry the flame from the Irish naval vessel to the ceremony, a gesture to the memory of JFK's sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics movement. She died in 2009.

And in a symbolic passing of the family political torch, Caroline Kennedy asked her 20-year-old son, Jack, to handle the main Kennedy part of the ceremony. His polished and idealistic speech reflected his long-expressed hopes to follow his grandfather into U.S. national politics after graduating from Yale.

See pictures of Kennedy lighting the flame in Ireland below:

caroline kennedy flame
(Photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images)

caroline kennedy flame
(Photo by PA)

Gabrielle Dunkley contributed to this report.

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