"My mother was a woman of tremendous courage," says Caroline Kennedy in a video tribute

By Liz McNeil
Updated May 19, 2014 05:15 PM
Credit: Mark Shaw/Underwood Archives/Getty

Twenty years ago Monday, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis died at the age of 64. Still considered one of the most famous and fascinating women in the world, she was also a devoted mother to Caroline, now 56, and John Jr., who died in 1999 in a plane crash at age 38.

Caroline, now the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, has released a video honoring her mother and called her a “great role model.”

“My mother was a woman of tremendous courage,” says Caroline in the video released for Mother’s Day. “She worked very hard to do her best every day of her life, whether it was in raising her children, being First Lady or working as a book editor.”

Even more poignant is a look back at how her son, John F. Kennedy Jr., paid tribute to her after her death on May 19, 1994.

To the mourners gathered outside of her Manhattan apartment, John announced that she had died “surrounded by her friends, her family, her books and the things she loved. She did it in her own way and on her own terms.”

On Monday, Clint Hill, 82, the Secret Service Agent who watched over her in the White House and later wrote the book Mrs. Kennedy and Me, remembered her as “a wonderful, dynamic individual and a dedicated mother.”

“In the White House, she wanted her children treated as normally as possible,” says Hill. “She was determined they grow up to be wonderful young adults and they did.”

Related Video: John F. Kennedy Jr.’s statement when his mother died