President Kennedy was known for his deep intellectual curiosity for a great many of things. If there was ever a President that understood well the makings and solutions to crisis, it was JFK. Taking risks and being prepared to fail miserably was not something John F. Kennedy was unfamiliar with. Danger and Opportunity were also two hallmarks of his presidency and one need not provide a lengthy history lesson to understand this very clear and evident truth.
Of course, JFK is one of our most quotable Presidents and the quote illustrated above is one such example. No doubt, John Kennedy was one of our most literate of Presidents, having authored books (i.e. Profiles in Courage) and articles. At his innaguration for President, Kennedy elected to have Robert Frost, one of our greatest Poets, read from some of his works. This is an interesting back story to what happened that very bitterly cold day when Frost was asked to read from one of his many works. Though cold, the sun was so bright, it temporarily blinded Robert Frost. But Kennedy chose well that day in selecting this great poet as Frost simply canvassed his fertile memory for a poem and recited it to the throng of people gathered for the event. Kennedy loved the work of Robert Frost and it probably influenced his taste in prose. So without any further delay, here are some of my favorite President Kennedy quotes and if you are a student of history or have an appreciation for the wisdom of certain words, then walking down the Kennedy memory lane should be an enjoyable journey.
“War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today”
“A man does what he must — in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers, and pressures — and that is the basis of all human morality.”
“If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all — except the censor. We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. For the Bill of Rights is the guardian of our security as well as our liberty.”
“Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners. And necessity has made us allies. Those whom nature hath so joined together, let no man put asunder”
“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.”