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Long-lasting Kennedy Legacy

Reader comment on item: Memories of John F. Kennedy's Inauguration
in response to reader comment: I too

Submitted by M. Tovey (United States), Jan 26, 2011 at 19:29

Many are the recollections of we Americans who were peculiarly fascinated with the personage and seemingly charismatic aura of John F. Kennedy. The far-reaching range of why this is so could, and has, filled enough pages to keep places like the Smithsonian flush with every variation of commentary possible. Though my own personal recollections are near the same as others, in my later years I have come to a different conclusion as to how his presidency, which was formed with ideals all could identify with, but not all appreciated, affects all of us even today.

Many have indicated the Kennedy presidency was the catalyst that began the change we see in America today, of a society that culminated a struggle of post war mentalities wanting to be free of old-style restraints by electing a president that from all appearances would give the people a new freedom of life. Little was it then realized that like all freedom, a price was to be exacted in deadly cost.

It is not intended here to go through some rediscovery of the facts leading away from the ideologist rhetoric of the inauguration to the bone chilling visuals of the Zapruder(sp?) film, but it is still plain to this day that the most graphic physical evidence that things were/are not what they seem are an underlying theme as to why America cannot seem to get its act together, from Viet Nam to Afghanistan.

President Kennedy asked a potent question of Americans, to paraphrase, asking what should each of us consider giving to keep this country true to its beginnings. Little did any people of that time expect him to make the ultimate example, especially after being a survivor of World War Two. Yet, we now can look back and see that in the vein of his rhetoric there were some that did not fully appreciate his vision in his inaugural address, and sought redress one would have thought could only have happened in some other power ravaged country.

What is Kennedy's legacy? Look closely and discern; it is all around us. We cannot gather ourselves as Americans anymore except in extreme cases, and even then such moments are fleeting. The questions is posed: what would be different if Kennedy had not been removed from our lifetimes? Only Almighty God knows; but then He knew from the beginning that trouble would be front page news if we went ahead and took His presence from the public arena as was done in 1962; and we have been paying for that ever since.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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