Nov 30 3

JFK’s Legacy

Given that it was Thanksgiving the 55th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy passed with relatively little coverage.

Such is the news business.

On Friday, the publication of the National Climate Assessment - a report that would have utterly startled President Kennedy, and for sure have prompted him to act – did spark considerable coverage, though only after the standard TV reports of the annual Black Friday shopping frenzies.

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It is always an exercise worth the undertaking, asking ourselves how this president or that president would react when faced with this crisis, or that one.

In the case of President Kennedy, of course, there will always be unanswered questions in all manner of contexts.

Be that as it may it was fifty five years on Thursday of last week since Kennedy was cruelly gunned down in Dallas.

For millions of people in America and around the world, the assassination of the president remains a kind of benchmark.

There was the world before JFK, and the world after him.

Memories apart, we all of us live in a very different time to 1963.

Still, we do well to pause a moment each year in the waning days of November and allow due acknowledgment of John Kennedy’s role in, for one thing, the renaissance of Irish America.

Kennedy’s winning of the presidency and his actions as president are usually studied in a general American or global political context.

But in a purely Irish American sense, his election, his all-too-brief 1,000 days in office, and the lasting legacy he has bequeathed to us all amount to the kind of long term psychological shot in the arm that may well indeed have played a crucial nurturing role in all that we’ve seen and praised in the years after his passing.

After what Kennedy achieved, just about anything was possible. And many, very many, took note.

In that regard, we celebrate JFK’s life and achievements at this time of year, even as we pause to recall his tragic and untimely end.