Saturday, June 28, 2008

June 28, 1963 - JFK Remarks to Irish Parliament

On the 45th anniversary of President Kennedy's historic visit to Ireland, I thought I would share a clip from his speech to the Irish Parliament.

It was less than 5 months before Kennedy was assassinated and there were many indications he was going to be doing some major house cleaning in the intelligence agencies and with the military, leading into a second term. Of course, we'll never know.

Kennedy's rhetoric that summer, up to his death, took on greater dimension in his advocacy of peace and freedom while promoting a cautious path to disarmament and de-escalation.

Considering the state of the world in 1963, statements like this speak volumes about the character of Kennedy's leadership :

"Indeed, across the gulfs and barriers that now divide us, we must remember that there are no permanent enemies. Hostility today is a fact, but it is not a ruling law. The supreme reality of our time is our indivisibility as children of God and the common vulnerability of this planet."

We hear all about the "soaring rhetoric" of a certain big time politician of today, who is oft tossed in with the likes of President Kennedy. Not even I believe just this short clip so crisply demonstrates.

It must have been an incredibly exhilarating time to be involved in politics in the 1960's, until it became a parade of one horror after another.

Kennedy need not be lionized or idealized to see what talented, bright, and conscientious leadership was lost to our country when he was cut down.

Being an Irish-American I can't help but feel a sense of pride about my roots when I watch this.

Kennedy's whole visit is documented in audio and video you can find at the Irish TV website.

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