Fifty-four years ago today, on November 22nd, 1963, American President John F. Kennedy was killed as he travelled in his open-car motorcade through Dallas, Texas.

Before he entered politics, he joined the navy.  One night the wooden boat he was in was split in half by a Japanese war ship and the back injury JFK received plagued him for the rest of his life.  But as the leader that night, he had to take care of his men.  He towed one injured sailor, swimming through spilled fuel and waves, to safety.  For this act he received the Purple Heart.

JFK fought for civil rights at a time when so many were suffering.  The Civil Rights Act, which banned discrimination based on race, religion or gender, was passed the year after JFK was killed.

And there were so many of his words that we remember.  When he said…

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

“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.”

“Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.”

“When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.”

He was a writer.  A reader.  A leader.

May we all strive to make a difference.  To lead in times of trouble.  To stand up for what we believe in.

As JFK once said, “Things do not happen.  Things are made to happen.”

Let’s make good things happen today.