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Maria Shriver honors late uncle John F. Kennedy on 57th anniversary of assassination

Shriver was 8 years old when her Uncle Jack died.
/ Source: TODAY

For most of the country, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, was a tragic moment in history. For TODAY contributor Maria Shriver, it was a personal loss.

Shriver, whose mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, was one of JFK's younger sisters, honored her late uncle with a series of tweets on Sunday, the 57th anniversary of his death. The father of two, 46 at the time, was shot while riding in a presidential motorcade in Dealey Plaza in Dallas.

"As this day comes to an end, I want to close it out honoring my Uncle Jack," Shriver, 65, wrote. "He was a light. His smile lit up the room. His words inspired millions, and his service brought hope to millions. But he was also a father, a son, a beloved brother, and uncle."

Maria Shriver at age 4 in 1960 with her uncle John F. Kennedy, who's holding his nephew Timothy Shriver, 14 months. Also pictured is Bobby Shriver, age 6.AP Photo

She included the hashtag "#JFKassassination" and also shared a black-and-white image of JFK smiling from ear to ear as he greets crowd of people holding American flags. Lines from a Robert Frost poem across the top of the photograph read: "But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep."

Shriver added that she "(remembers) this day like it happened a moment ago. My world stopped, as did so many others today."

The former first lady of California then turned her focus to JFK's daughter, her first cousin Caroline Kennedy. "My heart is with @AmbCKennedy, who has devoted so much of her life to upholding her parents legacies. She works so hard to make them proud," she wrote.

In a follow-up tweet, she added, ".@AmbCKennedy works so hard to tell her father’s story. He would be so proud of her! She has the best of both her parents in her. Today, my prayers are for her and always for our country, as we still fight to live out the world Uncle Jack envisioned."

The anniversary of JFK's death is especially poignant this year. In June, the last of his siblings, Jean Kennedy Smith, former U.S. ambassador to Ireland, died at age 92. "She lived an amazing life," her daughter Kym Smith told NBC News in a statement at the time.

Shriver appeared on TODAY shortly after the loss and offered some warm words about Smith's legacy.

"She was an extraordinary woman, had a great career on behalf of this country as ambassador to Ireland, promoting peace there, and also started very special arts for people with intellectual disabilities,” she said. “So I take solace in the fact that she is joining every other member of her family up in heaven. So it’s nice for her.”