Fifty years ago today John F. Kennedy was gunned down in Dallas. He died at Parkland Hospital which is where I trained for 8 years of my life. Several of my surgical mentors were there that day 50 years ago. They always spoke reverently of that day. Much is written and much is still not known about that day.
There was much good in President Kennedy’s life and some bad also but today I choose to focus on the good. I have read much about him and specifically some of his quotes. I am left to wonder where he would have fit in today’s world. Here are a few of my favorites.
“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”
“A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”
“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.”
“There is always inequality in life. Some men are killed in a war and some men are wounded and some men never leave the country. Life is unfair.”
“And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe–the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.”
And probably his most famous:
“My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
There is plenty to not like about some of his policies but but can you imagine our current president asking people to give more to their country than they receive? Or that our rights come from God? Or that you can keep your own beliefs and still be tolerant? Or that life is not always fair? JFK certainly paid a high price for his beliefs.
Today I will ask God to show me the truth and pray for the courage to speak it wherever He places me.