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JFK 100 Years
My tribute to JFK at The Dealey Plaza UK 2017 Seminar:

On May 29[SUP]th[/SUP], it will be the 100[SUP]th[/SUP] anniversary of the birth of John F. Kennedy.
During that traumatic century mankind exhibited the best and the worst of its traits. There were many who willingly accepted great sacrifice in the face of overwhelming adversity.
Brave men and women laid down their lives so that others could live and be free: but there were some who possessed an appalling disregard for the sanctity of human life, who committed acts of cruelty on a scale that truly defies belief.
Evil men through their hatred and bigotry have brought great suffering to many. Fortunately there have been great and good men who have countered this tragic failing of the human psyche.
John Kennedy was a shining example of the latter.
He was man born into privilege who never felt the crushing pressure of poverty. But nevertheless he wanted to do something to alleviate it; so he chose public service as a path to pursue, public service in its truest and finest sense.
He brought, grace, dignity, wit and eloquence to leadership, which we see precious little of today.
It has been said that a great nation is judged not by its military might and its ability to force its will on other nations; But by the manner in which it treats the weakest and the poorest in its society. John Kennedy said in 1961 "…. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich."
He was a committed advocate of diversity. Throughout his political career he sought justice for all.
He stated in 1963 "Our problems are man-made. Therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings ……..we all inhabit this small planet, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children's futures and we are all mortal…. ."
He believed that the problems that we faced could be solved by peaceful co-operation between nations. By us working together, we can defeat the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, and war itself, we can invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors; we can explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease and assure a more fruitful life for all mankind.
But, there were others who lacked his vision and his humanity; who conspired to end his quest for a just and honourable society of nations.
The book of Genesis chapter 37- verse 18 sums it up very aptly. "…… they saw him from a distance. Before he came close to them, they plotted against him to put him to death. And they said to each another, "Here comes this dreamer! "Let's kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then let's say, Then we can say that a wild beast has devoured him.' And then we will see what will become of his dreams."
When Robert Kennedy, was introduced to the delegates at the Democratic Party convention in August 1964, he was prevented from speaking by a standing ovation. It went on for over 22 minutes. It has been said that this outpouring of emotion from the audience was because they saw in RFK the living embodiment of what they had all lost. When he was able to speak he thanked them for what they had done to help his brother. He went on to say that when he thought of President Kennedy, he was reminded of what Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet
"…and when he shall die take him, and cut him in little stars. For he will make the face of heaven so fine, that all the world will be in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun."
John Kennedy was born during the First World War, he went on to serve in the US Navy in the Second World War, in 1962, a year before he was assassinated he prevented a Third World War; a war which may have led to the end of the World. For this, in my opinion, he has earned our undying gratitude.
For the first 13 years of my life John F. Kennedy lived the last 13 of his; when he was President I was too young to fully understand and appreciate his service to mankind. But, in the years that followed his death, I came to realise the full extent of this remarkable man's achievements.
So in closing, I would like to say; that for a brief shining moment, it was indeed an honour and a privilege for me to have breathed the same air.

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