“But Let Us Begin”-It`s the 50th Anniversary of JFK`s Inaugural Address!

January 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Celebrity, Top Story

Today is the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy`s Inaugural Address. That was January 20, 1961, a cold day in Washington D.C. You can tell how cold it is from the President`s breath which has the vapors of chilliness (cold smoke?). How do you say that? Anyway, one quality that stood out for me, as I watched JFK`s historic speech this morning, is how nonchalant his celebrity audience was. It`s as if they were witnessing an ordinary, everyday speech.

Perhaps it was taking a moment for the words and ideas to sink in. It still does today. One thing I get from it, however,  is that JFK was attempting to break the iron grip of the Cold War, the tyranny of nuclear weapons, and the oppressive cloak of world poverty. By addressing this issue, and by the United States taking on the responsibility of helping the needy of the world, we could better counter the threat of International Communism. Thus, we have the Peace Corp, where people would commit to help the needy around the globe.

There`s much more, oh so much more! That pic is of my family from 1961. That`s my Dad, Eugene, Terry and Jenny, and my sister, Meredy (my older sister). That`s me on the end. Oh, my mother, Shirley was taking the photo, so she`s not in the frame. This is on Easter, I believe. We lived in Houston, Texas. This is what it was like to live in America during the New Frontier. Americans were filled with hope and vigor and a commitment to make our country great. The President told us we had a moral commitment to serve, and we listened and followed what he said.

The plain black and white photos help me to remember. It was so long ago it seems like a faded dream. A different era, a more trusting time. WWII had ended only 16 years before. People were still healing from that war. And so the early 1960s was a time of new hope. I was 8 years old at the time of JFK`s Inaugural Address. Our family was actually invited to the event. Hopefully, my Mom still has this invitation in the family vault. An important keepsake to “pass the torch to a new generation of Americans,” you might say.