In early 1960’s, the United States of America was enduring racial inequalities in our country, the Cold War, and war against Communism. The United States was going through harsh times with the Cold War at its peak; America needed a strong and wise leader. On January 20, 1961, John F. Kennedy made one of the most iconic inauguration speeches in American history that brought hope to the American people. “Let the word go forth from this time and place to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans–born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage–and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.” (Kennedy, John F. Inauguration speech. 20th, January 1961). Kennedy sought to bring much-needed change for equality and unity to America and other countries, because of the hardships of that time, and it has changed how the world is today.
When Kennedy said his inauguration speech, people did not expect what he was going to say because he was the youngest president ever elected. While Americans living in the country are different races or have different ethnical backgrounds; everyone who lives in this country have valued such as justice, liberty, and freedom. “Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.” (Kennedy 1961) During the time he was elected the civil rights movement was going on. President Kennedy respects every man not just by their color, so he sought out to bring equality in our country to bring us together. “Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms–and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations.” (Kennedy 1961) Kennedy helps change the racial inequalities in our country to make our country equal.
Uniting our country is what makes America strong and President John F. Kennedy says this in his speech. His main goal is to unify people in our country and other countries with American for world peace. “Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction.” (Kennedy 1961). Kennedys aiming to unify our country and other countries such as shared backgrounds, cultures, and values. With Kennedy uniting our country together it made us stronger as American people. “Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah–to “undo the heavy burdens . . . (and) let the oppressed go free.” (Kennedy 1961) The unity we have with our own country and others has made us how we are today if it was not for president Kennedy trying to unify us, we may not be here today because of warfare.
On January 20, 1961, the greatest speech ever to be presented at an inauguration by John F. Kennedy was memorable and outspoken to everyone. He brought an entire country together through a tough time with the cold war and communism at an all-time high. When the speech was going on he said, he would help with inequality and unite our country for a new generation. He then he tells the crowd at his inauguration; which is what everyone remembers from his speech. “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country. 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.” (Kennedy 1961) This part of the speech is what is so important to me because he asks the American people to stop asking what the government can do for them, but what can they do to help their country. Kennedy turns the country around by what he does in office that helps present-day America.