Tags: Presidential History | john kennedy | wartime | quotes

John Kennedy Wartime Address Highlights: 5 Quotes From Inauguration Speech

By    |   Monday, 18 May 2015 03:53 PM

When John F. Kennedy was elected to the White House in 1960, he inherited a nation mired a prolonged Cold War with the Soviet Union. Kennedy's wartime speeches — starting with his famous inauguration speech — addressed the Cold War and its philosophy on several fronts.

Kennedy would soon face Cold War turmoil as he took office. He dealt with the Cuban Missile Crisis only a year later and oversaw increased U.S. troop involvement in supporting South Vietnam against North Vietnam before he was assassinated in 1963. These five quotes from his presidential inaugural address foreshadow Kennedy's resolve in fighting against communism.

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1. The United States will support liberty at any cost.
"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."

2. Fight for liberty continues now as it did in past generations.
"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."

3. Improving the lives of the poor strengthens the cause of freedom.
"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich."

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4. It is people's duty to answer the call to fight everything that oppresses fellow human beings.
"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."

5. Take action to help your nation instead of thinking selfishly.
"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."

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When John F. Kennedy was elected to the White House in 1960, he inherited a nation mired a prolonged Cold War with the Soviet Union. Kennedy's wartime speeches — starting with his famous inauguration speech — addressed the Cold War and its philosophy on several fronts.
john kennedy, wartime, quotes
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2015-53-18
Monday, 18 May 2015 03:53 PM
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