Fifty-five years ago yesterday, on November 22nd, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated at the age of 46. The same age as me.
During his short life he received a medal for heroism from the navy after helping save the troops under his command when their boat was sunk by a Japanese destroyer in World War II. He received the Pulitzer Prize for his book Profiles in Courage. He became a U.S. Congressman at the age of 29 and served two terms supporting issues like increased public housing, higher wages and better Social Security for the elderly. He ran for the U.S. Senate and beat the popular Republican incumbent. Then he went on to become President of the United States.
He fought for civil rights, he started the Peace Corps and he committed to seeing a man on the moon.
He was flawed as all humans are, and he had political and personal failures, but he left a legacy that changed the path of the country and the world.
May we all wonder not what our country can do for us, but what we can do for our country. May we all strive to reach for the stars and remember that we are the change that we seek.
As JFK once asked, “If not us, who? If not now, when?”
It’s you. It’s now. Go out and change the world in the name of those who had to leave before their time.