TAMPA (FOX 13) - Because of how he died, President Kennedy has remained frozen to us, frozen as the young president with the strong voice.
About a dozen people stopped to mark the 100th anniversary of Kennedy's 1917 birth.
"When we get a leader that people can attach to, and know that they also carry their dreams with them, it is appreciated, and he was one of those people," said William McIntosh, who played saxophone at the ceremony, which was put on by John C. Fremont philanthropies, based in St. Petersburg.
The ceremony was held at the marble statue that overlooks the street named for him.
He traveled on it four days before he was gone.
"I remember the celebrations from him being here," said Lt. Jonnie Ritchie of the US Naval Sea Cadets. "I remember the caravan coming down the streets, it was awesome, very exciting."
As a sailor in World War II, Kennedy saved the lives of several shipmates after a crash with a Japanese warship.
Even though he didn't die in war, those at the ceremony extended the meaning of Memorial Day to include Kennedy.
"No doubt about it, he gave his life in service to this country," said Aleq Boyle of the John C. Freemont Philanthropies.
Service is the part of his legacy that they say transcends political party and ideology.
"He gave a call for humanity, for humanity to reach into the stars," said Boyle.