Thursday, January 20, 2011

50th anniversary of JFK Inauguration

At this hour 50 years ago JFK delivered his Inaugural Address.
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country. 

That is the line we have all heard over and over again that gets quoted from this speech but there are other quotable lines as well.
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.
JFK was the first President born in the 20th century. His youthful persona helped him reach out to the younger generation and deliver a call to action.
Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms--and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations.

The START Treaty was in the news not too long ago so I though this passage was relevant even today.
So let us begin anew--remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate. 
His words to the Soviet Union would fit well today if they were targeted to both parties in congress.

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