July 18, 1999

"Our hearts and prayers are with all those who have been touched by the sad news regarding John F. Kennedy Jr. and those with him. May the Lord of all mercies console and strengthen their families and friends."

Cardinal William H. Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore

"The Kennedy family has had a long history of partnering with the NAACP. It goes back a generation to the father and mother. Today, this is a personal loss."

Kweisi Mfume, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

"How much tragedy has to strike one family over and over again? ... He was just a pretty down-to-earth kind of guy. You would never have thought that he was the son of the former president."

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Baltimore congressman

"My deepest sympathy goes out to [Lt. Gov.] Kathleen [Kennedy Townsend] and to [Maryland Del.] Mark Shriver and all the Kennedys. ... I'm sure we're going to hear all kinds of things about risk-taking, but that's just second-guessing. You just can't stop living your life."

Casper R. Taylor Jr., speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates

"My thoughts and prayers are with Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, her husband, David, and their daughters, and the entire Kennedy family at this very difficult time."

Parris N. Glendening, governor of Maryland

"I was very saddened, and I prayed they would be all right. I thought back to when his father died, and him growing up, and his poor mother's death. It's very sad."

Estelle Williamson, 65, Towson

"I can't believe it. It's like, he's nobody to you. He's from a rich, famous family, but it's so sad. He was so young. No matter how rich you are, you are still touched by tragedy."

Danguole Budris, a librarian from Martha's Vineyard visiting Baltimore

"I was just wondering how many were on the plane, and if they found them. It's like, the tragedy continues. It goes back a long way with that family. A long way."

Tony Hill, 41, Baltimore

Pub Date: 07/18/99

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