JFK Inaugural Address 1 of 2

Uploaded by PaddyIrishMan2 on 29.10.2006

Do you John Fitzgerald Kennedy do solemnly swear
>> I john Fitzgerald Kennedy do solemnly swear
>> that you will faithfully execute the office of President of the United
>> that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States
>> and will to the best of your ability
>> and will to the best of my ability
>> preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States
>> preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States
>> so help you God?
>> so help me God.
[Cheering & Applause]
Vice President Johnson,
Mr. Speaker,
Mr. Chief Justice,
President Eisenhower,
Vice President Nixon,
President Truman,
reverend clergy, fellow citizens,
We observe today not a victory of party,
but a celebration of freedom
symbolising an end, as well as a beginning
signifying renewal, as well as change.
For I have sworn before you and Almighty God
the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed
nearly a century and three quarters ago.
The world is very different now.
For man holds in his mortal hands
the power to abolish all forms of human poverty
and all forms of human life.
And yet the same revolutionary beliefs
for which our forebears fought
are still at issue around the globe
the belief that the rights of man
come not from the generosity of the state,
but from the hand of God.
We dare not forget today
that we are the heirs of that first revolution.
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.
Let every nation know,
whether it wishes us well or ill,
that we shall pay any price,
bear any burden, meet any hardship,
support any friend, oppose any foe,
to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
This much we pledge and more.
To those old allies
whose cultural and spiritual origins we share,
we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends.
United, there is little we cannot do
in a host of cooperative ventures.
Divided, there is little we can do
for we dare not meet a powerful challenge
at odds and split asunder.
To those new States whom we welcome
to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word
that one form of colonial control
shall not have passed away
merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny.
We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view.
But we shall always hope to find them
strongly supporting their own freedom
and to remember that, in the past,
those who foolishly sought power
by riding the back of the tiger
ended up inside.
To those people in the huts and villages across the globe
struggling to break the bonds of mass misery,
we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves,
for whatever period is required
not because the Communists may be doing it,
not because we seek their votes,
but because it is right.
If a free society cannot help the many who are poor,
it cannot save the few who are rich.
To our sister republics south of our border,
we offer a special pledge
to convert our good words into good deeds
in a new alliance for progress
to assist free men and free governments
in casting off the chains of poverty.
But this peaceful revolution of hope
cannot become the prey of hostile powers.
Let all our neighbours know
that we shall join with them
to oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas.
And let every other power know
that this Hemisphere intends to remain
the master of its own house.
To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations,
our last best hope
in an age where the instruments of war
have far outpaced the instruments of peace,
we renew our pledge of support
to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective
to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak
and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.
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.
We dare not tempt them with weakness.
For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt
can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.
But neither can two great and powerful groups of nations
take comfort from our present course
both sides overburdened by the cost of modern weapons,
both rightly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom,
yet both racing to alter that uncertain balance of terror
that stays the hand of mankind's final war.
So let us begin anew
remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness,
and sincerity is always subject to proof.
Let us never negotiate out of fear,
But let us never fear to negotiate.
Let both sides explore what problems unite us
instead of belabouring those problems which divide us.
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.