JFK: A humble reminder

Photo: Public Domain

Photo: Public Domain

Kaison Holloway, Staff Writer

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”  This iconic plea rang out to Americans searching for a new hope, a new frontier.  It was January 20, 1961, when the 35th president John Fitzgerald Kennedy delivered what is said to be the most profound speech in American history.

He faced ups and downs like any president.  From the Bay of Pigs fiasco to the Cuban Missile Crisis victory, he stood strong. This Saturday, November 22, marks the 51st anniversary of his death by assassination while traveling in a presidential motorcade in Dallas, Texas.

John “Jack” Kennedy was parented by Joseph Patrick Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy.  Born in Brookline, Massachusetts on May 29, 1917, Jack grew ill in his early childhood.  He developed several near death illnesses and fevers but overcame them. 

Jack had three brothers, Joseph, Robert and Edward; as well as four sisters, Rosemary, Kathleen, Eunice, and Patricia.  His older brother Joseph “Joe” was a pilot in the navy and was killed during World War II.

Like his brother, JFK also served in the U.S. Navy.  Before this, he had completed his schooling at Harvard.  Highly popular among students, he participated in various clubs and student groups.  

After his return home from his navy duties, he chose his path of profession.  With the aid of his father he ran and won three terms in the House of Representatives and later gained a seat in the U.S. Senate.  

Emerging as a popular figure in the political sphere, JFK embarked on his journey to become the youngest and first Catholic president of the United States.  That he did.  He succeeded with long hours, vigorous campaigns and a special support from his leading lady.  He once said, “Of all the women I’ve ever known, there was only one I could have married - and I married her.”

He and Jacqueline Bouvier were wed shortly after his success in becoming senator.  She conquered tough times with Jack until the very end.

On the fateful day of November 22, 1963, JFK was the victim of a fatal assassination attempt.  At approximately one o’clock that afternoon, the Catholic last rites were read and he was pronounced deceased.

The nation, shocked and dismayed, came to the realization that they had lost their profound leader.  Gone at the young age of forty-six, JFK’s death brought grief and remorse to his family, his staff, and the world.  

His life must never be trumped by his death.  It is important not to overlook the legacy left behind by John F. Kennedy.  With all that has been said, researched and rumored over the last 51 years, it is not his death that should be observed, but his life.