If he was still alive, John F. Kennedy would turn 100 years old on May 29 — and although his grandchildren never met the former president, who was assassinated in 1963 at age 46, his ideals continue to impact the nation and their own lives.
In a video made in partnership with the John F. Kennedy Library in honor of the centennial, the president’s daughter Caroline Kennedy and her three children — Rose, 28, Tatiana, 27, and Jack, 24 —remember President Kennedy’s legacy.
“I’ve thought about him and missed him every day of my life, but growing up without him was made easier thanks to all of the people who kept him in their heart,” said Caroline, the 59-year-old former president’s only living child.
She reminisced about hiding under the Oval Office desk and sailing with her father as a child.
“He is a historical figure,” Caroline said. “One hundred years is a really long time, but I think his legacy and these values are timeless and they live on.”
Tatiana, a climate change reporter for The New York Times, shared that she connects with her grandfather by studying history, a pastime also enjoyed by President Kennedy.
“While my grandfather had reverence for the past and the lessons it could impart, he also knew that America was a country where change was possible, where we aren’t bound solely by tradition, if we understand the past with which we are breaking,” she said.
Rose, a spitting image of her grandmother Jackie Kennedy, spoke about her grandfather’s push for equality — work that continues today in injustices such as voting rights and mass incarceration.
“My grandfather would be proud of how far we’ve come as a nation since 1963, but he’d have been the first to tell us that we have a long way to go,” she said.
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Jack talked about President Kennedy’s concern for the environment and the ongoing issue of climate change.
“He cared deeply about the environment, about science and technology,” Jack said. “And he recognized that only if America leads the world in solving global problem can we make sure that it’s done right.”
“Great challenges are opportunities,” he continued. “I know that we’re up to the task, but we have to demand action from our leaders, and we have to vote.”
For more on the Kennedys, check out PEOPLE’s commemorative edition Jack & Jackie: Remembering Camelot, on sale now.