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Paper 2 Part 2

Paper 2 Part 2 - Michael Guertin American Studies 301...

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Michael Guertin American Studies 301 Professor Gustafson T.A.: Lisa Ybarra November 21, 2008 JFK: More than just an Airport John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address of January 20, 1961 is the greatest of all because his words evoke a patriotic spirit more than any other. After reading his speech, it makes me want to be a part of the generation that heard his resounding words and fervently cheered afterward. I cannot help but think that Kennedy truly believed every word that he uttered with such conviction and I would love to hear it instead of just reading it from Daniel R. Katz’s book titled Why Freedom Matters . I find it fascinating that in his 1364-word address, which is the fourth-shortest inaugural address ever delivered, he was successfully able to inspire a nation primarily upon the principle unity. While many other presidents surely have emphasized the notion of unity and a nation coming together, Kennedy’s address is unique because of his most famous line. Kennedy inspired his fellow Americans by saying, “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country” (Katz, p. 100). Although his next line is overshadowed by the profoundness of the previous line, I think that it’s almost equally as important. Kennedy says, “My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man” (Katz, p. 100). The strength of his speech relies on the combination of Kennedy asking American citizens and the world’s citizens to make sacrifices that would allow free men to carry on the important principle of liberty. The United States has considered itself a global power for a long time, but rarely do Presidents directly challenge non- U.S. citizens to make sacrifices as well. Presidents will make references to conflicts that the
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