Monday, July 13, 2009

Quote of the Day

I was watching the movie Thirteen Days the other night. This is a movie about the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The movie itself is not the subject of this post but at the end of the movie, it played a snippet of a quote from a speech that President John F Kennedy delivered in June 1963.

I have always like the quote. So I decided to post it here tonight.

"...the most important topic on earth: peace. What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children. Not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely in peace in our time but peace in all time......

...So let us not be blind to our differences but let us also direct attention to our common interests and the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's futures. And we are all mortal.....

...While we proceed to safeguard our national interests, let us also safeguard human interests. And the elimination of war and arms is clearly in the interest of both.............The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war. We do not want a war. We do not now expect a war. This generation of Americans has already had enough - - more than enough - - of war and hate and oppression.

We shall be prepared if others wish it. We shall be alert to try to stop it. But we shall also do our part to build a world of peace where the weak are safe and the strong are just. We are not helpless before that task or hopeless of its success. Confident and unafraid, we must labor on - - not towards a strategy of annihilation but towards a strategy of peace."

This speech was given by President Kennedy on June 10, 1963 at the American University Commencement ceremony.

I have always thought that it was really sad that President Kennedy died so early in his life, not being able to complete his presidential term and not being able to run for a 2nd term. This was a man that I think had incredible potential that was never fully developed and was taken away from our country way too far before his time.

In my opinion, President Kennedy was a man that truly desired peace at all costs.

Say what you want about the man and his presidency but I really admire the man.

You can view the speech in its entirety here.

Here is another great quote from this speech:

"Too many of us think [that peace] is impossible. Too many think it is unreal. But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable, that mankind is doomed.....We need not accept that view. Our problems are man made; therefore, they can be solved by man...No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings."


  1. Wow. That’s amazing. I’ve never heard or read this speech before, but what you have quoted here is fantastic stuff.

    I agree with JFK was taken away from us way too early. Who knows what he could have accomplished had he not been killed. I think the same could be said for RFK as well. I watched a documentary series on the Kennedy’s years ago on PBS and I remember being so impressed with Bobby Kennedy. I truly think he could have made a huge difference had he not been killed.

  2. JFK believed much like Ronald Reagan that "peace through strength" is the only possible way to achieve true lasting peace.

    ...Vice President Johnson, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, President Eisenhower, Vice President Nixon, President Truman, Reverend Clergy, fellow citizens:

    "We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom--symbolizing an end as well as a beginning--signifying renewal as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forbears prescribed nearly a century and three-quarters ago.

    The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe--the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.

    We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans--born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage--and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

    Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

    This much we pledge--and more."

    " those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction.

    We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed."

    Now the trumpet summons us again--not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need--not as a call to battle, though embattled we are-- but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation"--a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself.

    Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind?

    Will you join in that historic effort?" -From Inaugural address JFK 01/20/1961

    If alive today JFK would be about as welcome in the Democrat party as Zel Miller...
    I was in gradeschool when JFK was assassinated... remember it well.

  3. I wonder if he were alive today, if the Democratic Party would have drifted as far as it did. It seems to me that after his and RFK’s deaths, the party had a leadership vacuum and the people who stepped into that role, took the party into a different direction. Bill Clinton tried to bring it back closer to the JFK tradition, but he didn’t succeed.

  4. I would like to think that we would not have gotten so far involved into Vietnam had he never been murdered. In fact, a large part of me thinks that is the reason he was killed, due to his lack of desire to send more troops in there.

    I wonder if we will ever know what really happened to him in our lifetime?