John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address

President John F. Kennedy was the thirty-fifth president of the United States. Many know him for being one of the few presidents that were assassinated, pushing the United States closer to beating the Soviet Union in the race to the moon or even having an airport in New York named after him. But something he is less known for is his inauguration speech on January 20, 1961, in Washington DC. This is definitely one of the most remarkable speeches of all time, and president Kennedy addressed many important points in this speech.

President Kennedy repeatedly references what our founding fathers did for everybody’s rights and freedoms in the country. His purpose for this is to give Americans a sense of pride and hope. Kennedy also references how nearly all of the problems in the world were a direct cause of mankind, and that many issues such as poverty and deprivation of basic human rights can all be prevented. Another important point that Kennedy mentions is that if Americans do not work together humbly, then society would fall apart. One line from his inaugural address that clearly shows this is “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich”. 

However, that is not the most famous line from this inaugural address. By far, the most famous line from this address is “ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country”. Similar to the idea of Americans working together, Kennedy is telling American citizens that in order for America to be the greatest, most functional, and strongest nation in the world, everybody has to do their part to make America just a little bit better. 

The first line of the preamble in the United States constitution is “We the people…”. Kennedy’s morals stay consistent with this line since when saying “ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country”, he is asking Americans, instead of the government, to run society and really make sure that everybody’s voice is heard.

It is no question that John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address is one of the greatest speeches of all time, if not, the greatest. Kennedy’s perspective on what American society should look like not only sets as a great example as a literary masterpiece, but it also is a great representation of what our founding fathers wanted when they were creating the US constitution

-Jeremy L.

2 thoughts on “John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address

  1. I had never read the full text of his inaugural address, and it was a remarkable speech. The famous line is one that people recognize. The full address is worth our time. With knowing the full arc of his story and what brought him to his position and how it would end, his words carry even more meaning for those of us who look back to study him.

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