Tags: Presidential History | john kennedy | peacetime | address | quotes | speech

John Kennedy Peacetime Address Highlights: 8 Quotes From Speech

By    |   Monday, 01 Jun 2015 02:48 PM

President John F. Kennedy may have only presided over the oval office for two brief years before he was assassinated in 1963, but when he spoke to the American people his powerful words gave the country hope and encouragement. His inaugural address in particular contains some iconic quotes often referred to today.

Here are eight highlights from his address:

1. “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.”

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2. “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.”

3. “To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required — not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

4. “To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support — to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective — to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak — and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.”

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5. “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.”

6. “In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than in mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.”

7. “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”

8. “With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.”

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President John F. Kennedy may have only presided over the oval office for two brief years before he was assassinated in 1963, but when he spoke to the American people his powerful words gave the country hope and encouragement.
john kennedy, peacetime, address, quotes, speech
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2015-48-01
Monday, 01 Jun 2015 02:48 PM
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