Proud To Live in America
Home Government Agencies Supporters Women's Issues American Life Testimonials

click here to read more editorials: MLK - Ellis Island - Pedro Zapeta - Lou Dobbs - Social Media - Eliot Spitzer - St. Patrick - 2008 Elections - John Kennedy - Race and Gender  - Economy 2008 - Financial Crisis 09 - Change - Goldman Sachs - Ponzi Scheme


John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Speech of 1961 Revisited


Watch and listen to President Obama's Ingauration Speech



Several passages from the inaugural speech of John F. Kennedy might not be so popular if they were spoken by a contemporary president; “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, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty” and the most well known portion “my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country”.


These famous words were spoken at a time when the Cold War was still frigid and the Cuba Missile Crisis was just heating up. Schoolchildren routinely huddled under their desks practicing what to do incase of nuclear war while “air raid” sirens sounded on our city streets.


Kennedy’s words were not just a warning to the enemies of the United States but a patriotic call to every citizen in our country to prepare for any possible situation that may present itself in the future. Kennedy was preparing us to be ready to make any sacrifice that might be necessary and to put the good of our country before ourselves.


While the world is an even more dangerous place today than it was forty-eight years ago, voters in the USA and much of the world itself would be shocked to hear the next president of the United States of America make a speech that resembled Kennedy’s.


The “fellow Americans” of today want the country and government to provide aid to homeowners who made bad investments, protect our country but not invade our privacy and to create more government in order to make sure people have health insurance. Sounds like Americans in 2009 are asking what our country can do for them.


Our lack of personal responsibility and reliance on government is a by-product of banks and big business being bailed out by the government on a regular basis. If  our government expects its citizens to stand on their own two feet, corporate America should do the same.


This argument should not be used as excuse for our own selfishness. Many Americans have iPhones and cable television but not health insurance. People complain about the price of gas but have expensive cellular phone bills. Steve Jobs and Apple are revered while Exxon Mobile is despised. We know more about American Idol than we know about American politics or history.


Voters who expect President Barack Obama to solve their individual problems should read the inaugural speech of John F. Kennedy and rethink their expectations. Those who compare Barack Obama or any other presidential candidate to JFK long for the fairytale of “Camelot” but have forgotten that in retrospect history has a forgiving memory.


Recent polls show that Americans are unhappy and think this country is heading in the wrong direction. Justifiably the economy and the War in Iraq are at the forefront of our concerns as a nation yet times have been much more difficult. As recently as the late 1970’s inflation, unemployment and interest rates were in double digits. The military draft was still in existence giving little choice to those who did not wish to fight a war against communism in Vietnam that was initiated by Kennedy, escalated by Johnson and ended by Nixon. Oddly enough it seemed that despite these difficult situations people were happier.


So when it seems that we as a nation are struggling, just be thankful that you, your son or daughter is not being drafted and commanded to serve in the military or that our schoolchildren are not underneath their desks with their head between their legs preparing for a nuclear war.


We are a great nation and people but we still have a long way to go. JFK's historic speech put that into perspective 48 years ago and it's message may be more important today than ever before. Hopefully under the leadership of our 44th President, Barack Obama, we can all once again say that we are proud to be an American.



                              Read or listen to Kennedy’s 1961 Inaugural speech in its entirety.



To voice your opinion on this article or any other related topic CLICK HERE. 


Advertise with UsContact UsFeedbackDisclaimerPrivacy Policy
Copyright © 2006 Proud To Live In America Inc. All rights reserved.