45 Years Later, JFK’s Words Still Resonate

A SOMBER ANNIVERSARY

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"We must use time as a tool, not a crutch." -- JFK

Today marks 45 years since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

It is a time when all Americans (even those who were not yet born in 1963) stop to reflect on what our country lost that day for we lost so much more than more than just a man — and we ponder what role that tragic event played in shaping the world we now find ourselves living in.

While it is important that we pause to remember the past, and to ask these questions about America’s future (he would want us to), let’s not allow ourselves to forget the man Jack Kennedy was. Because it seems that far too often, we focus our attention on his death and the many questions that still remain unanswered. Shouldn’t we instead remember his life?

Sitting atop the perch where Abraham Zapruder shot his film of the assassination, a young boy tries to make sense of it all. Dealey Plaza, Dallas, TX. June 1, 2008

Sitting atop the perch where Abraham Zapruder shot his film of the assassination, a young boy tries to make sense of it all. Dealey Plaza, Dallas, TX. June 1, 2008

Since this somber anniversary happens to fall around Thanksgiving, it just doesn’t seem appropriate somehow to be mournful. Rather, let us give thanks for all of the good things he brought to this world as a catalyst for change. Let us recall the way he inspired people around the globe; the hope and optimism he brought to the presidency. Let’s celebrate his vision, his strength, his courage, his razor-sharp mind, his gracecharm, and of course, that delightful, sometimes wicked wit.

This would be a perfect time to reach for one of your favorite books on the shelf and immerse yourself in some of his words. Listen to some of his best speeches. Because these things are the legacy he left us. His words will live in history forever and cannot be erased.

A single red rose, left by an unknown admirer on the Grassy Knoll in front of the former Texas School Book Depository (now the 6th Floor Museum).

A single red rose, left by an unknown admirer on the Grassy Knoll in front of the former Texas School Book Depository (now the 6th Floor Museum).

Naturally, we all have our own favorite books and speeches of JFK’s; I’ve certainly got a long list of works I find deeply moving and inspiring, but I’ll refrain from making any recommendations here because I feel that how each of us remembers him today should be a strictly personal choice.

But there is one little tidbit I want to share:

On November 19, 1963, just three days before his death, President Kennedy wrote this message for the rededication ceremonies of the national cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania:

“The goals of liberty and freedom, the obligations of keeping ours a government of and for the people are never-ending.”

Just one sentence, but this says it all. Written exactly 45 years ago, these words serve to remind us all that there is still so much work to do. Lest we forget.

President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

 President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

May 29, 1917- November 22, 1963 

Notes and flowers left for President Kennedy on the Grassy Knoll Fence. Dallas, June 2008

Notes and flowers left for President Kennedy on the Grassy Knoll Fence. Dallas, June 2008

 PHOTO GALLERY

President and Mrs. Kennedy (holding red roses) at Love Field, Dallas. Nov. 22, 1963

President and Mrs. Kennedy (holding red roses) at Love Field, Dallas. Nov. 22, 1963

 * FOR FURTHER READING, WE RECOMMEND:

“Midnight in the Plaza of Good and Evil”

“Happy Birthday, Mr. President” 

“A Word From JFK on Independence Day”

“Former JFK Secret Service Agent Speaks Out in New Book: The Echo From Dealey Plaza”

“Op-Ed: Whoops, They Did It Again”

“Op-Ed: Who Will Carry The Torch Now?”

“JFK on Presidential Leadership”

The “Fearless” Kennedy

Op-Ed: We Have Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself

Dallas D.A. Releases Secret Stash of JFK Assassination Files

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4 Comments

Filed under JFK, John F. Kennedy, president kennedy, texas, the kennedys, Uncategorized

4 responses to “45 Years Later, JFK’s Words Still Resonate

  1. Jennifer

    Thank you for this loving and well-written tribute to President Kennedy. He is still my hero, even after all these years!

  2. This piece originally ran last year on November 22. We asked New Frontier (Kennedy historian, author and founding editor of this website) to update and expand the article so that our readers could enjoy it again.

    We sincerely hope you did.

    And as the crowds in Houston cheered on the last night of the President’s life:

    “VIVA KENNEDY!”

  3. moseljack

    I heard short of nothing on the Kennedy assasination anniversary… Such a great nation and so little accountability for investigating crimes at the top… Starting with Kennedy, running through the gammet from Iran-Contra through to present day socialism for corporate fascists… Billion dollar parachutes and ladders…

    TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS?! MY ASS! IT RAN DOWN MY LEG! THANKS REAGAN!!! THANKS ALOT FOR NOTHING!

    Not a dime for the working man and woman. Not a hint of any bone being tossed to help promote human decency, Stem Cell research even gets thrown back in our face for benefit of keeping up appearances for the Moral Majority… puking in the face of seperation of Church and State. Minimum wage can’t even get a sandwich and a coke! Yet Billions are squandered on junket’s and princely salaries for those who provide our nation NOTHING! who wholesaled out ALL OF OUR JOBS! Who opened the borders to 25 million people who don’t like us very much (to mow the lawns for the rich and shameless) Thanx Romney! Who pissed in the eye of justice and got derregulation to rob the people of our nation blind! Thanx McCain for the ENRON LOOPHOLE!

    Envoking presidential powers unilateral to two men Bush & Cheney as the cresciendo of our beautiful nations’ swan song is emminently upon us… Rove and Palinesque ‘joe the plumberist’s’ look down their uneducated right wing noses and call out real Americans who doubt the dime store comic book of tabloid news facts… A day of reckoning should be at hand… but sadly marking the years gone by as every Kennedy assasination anniversary streams past, that reckoning gets meeker and meeker as McDonald’s and TGI Friday’s and Flavy Flav, Fip This House and Bill O The Clown all work in unison to harden the arteries of our very soul as a once proud nation…

    Sarah Palin, as a V.P. pick and half the country swallowed this one whole without a second to taste the morsel? just like a ravenous starving dog. We are in dire straits and we could use a super hero right now… My belief is that the last one was shot on Nov. 22, 1063.

    R.I.P. JFK

    Rome is now well under blaze now. The fire started with the first shot that hit Kennedy, the blaze broke out when the first tower was hit. The lies keep coming now… we expect them actually and sadly we accept them…

    The extinguisher is hidden in the truth and convictions for crimes against humanity… If not for the justice of Kennedy.. then certainly for the open and honest investigation of the crime of the century… That of who made money on “Put Calls” on Wall Street that day (who we are bailing out with welfare for the rich today) at the cost of food on the table for the working folk. The liberty and our good reputation lies within the real story about 9/11/2001.

    Where’s Osama? Where’s the WMD? Where’s the outrage? BUILDING 7, Arrest Rove… Good Start.

  4. rickahyatt

    If you go to http://www.rickhyatt.freeservers.com, you will see various personal and public photographs complied, and come to understand that I was told in 1977 to go to ground with who the “Young Man with the rifle on the grassy knoll” had been determined to be. I’d been very successfully used to lure out spies, moles & assassins, and I can ascertain for you that Gary Condit was 15 in 1963. Even as I knew him, he excelled in beguiling others as a self-proclaimed “Intelligence Officer with political connections, etc.” so to see the newest enhanced photo with him in a Dallas Police uniform in (yellow) shooting glasses doesn’t faze me much. Who I believe the identity of the man beside him is, will surprise you. As to why the CIA covered it up & stewarded the Presidency until now and what that means for the CHICOM’s WALMART slave-labor $ Treasury Bonds becoming Null and Void is also explained.

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