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2/10/2011

100 Word Challenge - Engages



What follows is in response to the 100 Word Challenge, authored by the sometimes slightly disconnected Velvet Verbosity. The word this week is "Engages".

100 Word Challenge


I remember 1961 and the cold January day when JFK was inaugurated. I remember the speech. I remember the young Catholic Senator from Massachusetts and his improbable election. He wore no hat. His accent was funny. East Coast rich. Boston. And yet, the fact he came from money never made a difference. We saw him as ours. And his speech, that day, the day he engages the country, will live forever. He said words that every man knows, even to this very day: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.


Ndinombethe.

I was 18 years old in November of '63. I cried when he died.

10 comments:

Tara R. said...

This gave me chills. On this day, I was more a glimmer in my daddy's eye, but I am still mesmerized by JFK's legacy.

Employee No. 3699 said...

My parents weren't even married yet...so I wasn't even a glimmer.

But yes, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." was and still is the way it should be, but unfortunately is not what everyone believes.

Lance said...

my parents were just entering their teens. They don't like to talk about when John Kennedy died. It's similar to talking about 9/11. Innocence lost and all that I guess.

Thanks for evoking so much emotion.

barbara said...

Thanks for taking me back - I was 13 - 8th grade - going to catholic school, so you can imagine the extra angst that invoked.

JFK came through my hometown before he was elected - I still recall wanting to go see the motorcade procession and being denied. :( Ahhhh Camelot.

Megryansmom said...

And the nation cried with you.

Big Mark 243 said...

I wonder if that kind of optimism is going to come back during my lifetime. He was for better or worse, a transfomative figure, and lives on as an icon of selflessness.

His committment to doing for the citizens he served was his overriding mission. JFK led from the front and not the middle, and that is what a leader is supposed to do.

June B. Anderson said...

Nice write, nice read. I can remember my daddy having choice words not in favor of Kennedy. Ya had to be there, I guess, to understand it. Just like 'most everyone else, I do remember where I was when JFK died...sitting in my fourth grade classroom. Lance, your folks are about 3 years older than I, therefore, they probably remember more than I, but I just remember it seemed like everything surrounding his death and burial went on for days and days. It was sad. Hmmm...guess my comment is probably longer than 100 words itself. Gotta work on that.

Simply Wren said...

Very powerful, thank you.

Ms. Marsha said...

Powerful post.

Bo said...

Very nice! I wish I had the chance to know him as President.