US President George W. Bush paid his own tribute to John F. Kennedy ahead of yesterday's 40th anniversary of the Dallas assassination.
Bush said there was still "a feeling of loss that defies the passing of years."
The US president released a statement late on Friday, saying: "This weekend the American people turn our thoughts to images of 40 years ago, and to the good and graceful life that ended on Nov. 22, 1963."
He went on: "John F. Kennedy has been gone nearly as long as he lived, yet the memory of him still brings pride to our nation, and a feeling of loss that defies the passing of years.
"We remember a man who welcomed great responsibilities, and had a gift for awakening the idealism and sense of duty in others.
"We remember a leader who called our nation to high purpose, and saw America through grave dangers with calm, discernment, and personal courage.
We recall, with much affection and respect, the charming and dignified manner that became familiar to us all in the years of President Kennedy's service.
"On this day especially, we think of a young father, whose wife and family faced sorrow with dignity and a courage of their own.
"America still misses our 35th president, and Laura and I join our fellow citizens in honoring the memory of John Fitzgerald Kennedy."
Few official ceremonies are planned for the anniversary of the killing, but most television channels are broadcasting special tribute programs for the occasion.