“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” John F. Kennedy
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Today, November 22nd, marks the 50th anniversary since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He continues to be seen as one of history’s most prominent figures. He held his office for 1,000 days and to this day he has been thought to have been one of the best men to have occupied the Oval Office.
President Kennedy was the youngest and first Roman Catholic President to be elected and when he was sworn in on January 20, 1961 he was 43 years and 236 days old but he was also the youngest to die as President. During his inaugural Address he made one of the most pointed statements: “Ask not what your country can do for you-ask what you can do for your country.”
Before his death, he made great strides in the cause of equal rights, called for new civil rights legislation because he felt that America should be a vital society through the quality of national culture and the role of the arts. He wanted America to refocus itself as the first nation dedicated to the revolution of human rights. He worked through the Alliance for Progress and the Peace Corps to bring our country’s ideals to the aid of developing nations.
These are the ideas and ideals that I remember my parents discussing in the years following his assassination. His thoughts on the service of country have been a firm foundation for me through the years. We will never quite know what more JFK could have offered to our country and her people but I know that he was responsible for so many positive changes. The sky was the limit and he did soar during his short time in office.