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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 18, 1999
                       STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
                        ON JOHN F. KENNEDY, JR.,
                            CAROLYN KENNEDY,
                           AND LAUREN BESSETTE

The South Grounds

4:13 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: As the search continues, I want to express our family's support, and offer our prayers and those of all Americans for John Kennedy, Jr.; his wife, Carolyn; her sister, Lauren; and to their fine families.

I also want to thank the Coast Guard and all those who have worked so hard in this endeavor.

For more than 40 years now, the Kennedy family has inspired Americans to public service, strengthened our faith in the future, and moved our nation forward. Through it all they have suffered much, and given more.

In recent years, in particular, John Kennedy, Jr. and Carolyn have captured our imagination and won our affection. I will always be grateful for their kindnesses to Hillary and Chelsea and me.

At this difficult moment, we hope the families of these three fine young people will feel the strength of God, the love of their friends, and the prayers of their fellow citizens.

END 4:15 P.M. EDT