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JFK Jr. Memorial Grows Too Large

July 21, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ Mourners continued Wednesday to lay flowers, notes and candles outside John F. Kennedy Jr.’s apartment, an outpouring of grief that grew so large police deemed it dangerous and had dozens of bouquets removed.

Many of the 30- and 40-somethings dominating the crowd said the concept of Camelot _ the brief period when President Kennedy, his wife Jackie and their young children lived in the White House _ didn’t hold much meaning for them.

Instead, they described JFK Jr. as one of their own.

``He was alive, doing OUR stuff _ Roller-Blading, going to a Yankee game,″ said Mike Caffey, 44.

Police Inspector Michael Esposito said the entrance to JFK Jr.’s building in the trendy downtown Manhattan neighborhood of Tribeca had grown slippery and dangerous.

About a third of the hundreds of bouquets were picked up Wednesday afternoon by volunteers from Variety, a children’s charity, and taken for distribution to charities and hospitals.

Since Saturday, mourners have left flowers, prayer cards, candles, notes, poems, balloons and newspaper clippings at the site.

The notes included these messages: ``Love always from Israel″ and ``Descansen en paz″ _ Spanish for ``rest in peace.″

The Irish flag was taped to the building, along with the Irish Echo newspaper’s front-page headline: ``Good night, sweet prince.″

The local Thai restaurant where JFK Jr. liked to get takeout sent a tall wreath with a menu attached.

Fanny Salvador left a tiny wooden airplane, a card with the names of every Latin American country printed on it and this message: ``A prayer for John, from all Latin America.″

``They were so nice to all of us,″ she said. ``President Kennedy helped the poor people and the developing countries.″

Monique Russell, 35, a black woman from Washington, D.C., visited the shrine with four cousins. ``His family did so much for African-Americans _ it’s the Kennedy name,″ she said.

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