The newest member of the Kennedy family was introduced to the world Thursday, one day before the nation mourned the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.
Nora Kara Kennedy was born to former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy and his wife, Amy, on Tuesday at 3:11 p.m. at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center Mainland Campus. She was six pounds, 11 ounces and 18 and a quarter inches long.
On Thursday, the Kennedys answered questions about Nora’s well-being, the origin of her name, and, of course, the timing of her birth.
“The world’s attention is on the 50th anniversary of my uncle’s tragic death. What’s marked my family is our ability to keep moving forward,” Patrick Kennedy, the son of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, said as he choked back tears.
“We can think about what could’ve been, but we’re focusing on the good things we have and our fortunes, and that’s what they would’ve wanted us to do.”
John F. Kennedy would have been Patrick's uncle. The late president died four years before his birth.
It was also 50 years ago in August the Kennedy Family suffered through the loss of Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, John and Jackie Kennedy’s son who died 39 hours after being born as the result of a lung ailment that claimed the lives of many babies who were born before they reached full term.
These tragedies were not at the forefront of Patrick and Amy’s minds on Thursday. They were concerned with feeding times and spending their first day in their Brigantine home as a family.
“I never imagined I would be so blessed,” Patrick Kennedy said. “My wife and children give me a sense of purpose beyond what I’ve known. I told my wife I’m very grateful to her because not only has she given life to Harper and Owen and Nora, but she gave life to me as well.
“I’ll be praying for all my cousins who grew up without a father. I have a special appreciation for what fatherhood is because parents have such a meaningful impact on their children’s lives.”
Amy Kennedy is a teacher at Northfield Community Middle School. Up until last year, she taught History with a focus on Ancient Civilizations. Although it wasn’t her focus, she said the subject of John F. Kennedy’s assassination was often breached by her students once they heard her last name.
This week holds significance for her as well. The Absecon native celebrated her 35th birthday on Nov. 20.
Patrick Kennedy said they named their daughter Nora because there are no Noras in their family already. There are also no Owens or Harpers.
“They are brand new names,” Patrick Kennedy said. “They are their own people.”
Kennedy served as a Congressman in Rhode Island's First Legislative District for 16 years. While in Congress, Kennedy supported dozens of bills to increase understanding and treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders. He worked his father, the late Ted Kennedy, to co-author the Mental Health Parity & Addiction Equity Act.
Patrick and Amy were married on July 15, 2011.
Amy’s five-year-old daughter, Harper, is from a previous marriage. Patrick and Amy's son, Owen, was born in April, 2012, and was delivered by Dr. Blair A. Bergen, who also delivered Nora.