How do the native President john F. Kennedy spoke on January 20, 1961 resonate throughout the decades?

On January 20, 1961, john F. Kennedy ceded his inaugural address.The conclusionof that speechinspired a generation — and also profoundly shame the beginning of the tranquility Corps in 1961. Here are the last 3 paragraphs. Because that the 60th anniversary of this speech, us asked changed Volunteers and also membersof the tranquility Corps ar from about the worldto share how these words resonate throughout the years. Review the entire attend to below. And also tell united state what thesewords median to you. Use the comments formor email us.

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And so, my fellow Americans: ask no what your country can carry out for friend —ask what you can do for her country.

My other citizens of the world: ask no what America will carry out for you, but what with each other we deserve to do for the freedomof man.

Finally, even if it is you space citizens ofAmerica or citizens of the world, ask of us here the very same high standards of strength and sacrifice which us ask that you. V a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the last judge of our deeds, let united state go soon to lead the land we love, questioning His blessing and also His help, yet knowing that right here on earth God’s work must truly it is in our own.

I think around this sectiona bit in different way than itis frequently portrayed. Of food there space themesof service and sacrifice, but for me this wordsare around a more fundamental belief: America is the amount ofits components — i m sorry meansits people. She crowning accomplishments are oursto wear, her flaws and failings our to bear.The greatness the this nation depends top top the willingness of every one of usnot simply to execute our part,but to organize ourselves,our government, andour leader accountableto the guarantees we make the world. That’s the ongoing job-related of one imperfect union.

—Joe Kennedy III

Kennedy offered as aPeace Corps Volunteerin the Dominican Republic 2004–06 and also served the state the Massachusettsin the residence of to represent 2012–2021. His grandfatherwas Robert F. Kennedy, brothers to the president.

JFK’s assassination was my sign to join the peace Corps. Those critical ringing native personify to me that us all spring from the very same earth, that us share one impulseto goodness, and also whether or no we believe in God,the ultimate purpose for countless of united state who made decision to offer — and also then fell in love and learned from the people where we offered — to continue that service becameour calling and real function in life.

—Maureen Orth

Journalist, author, and special correspondent for Vanity Fair, Orth offered as a Volunteer in Colombia 1964–66. She founded the Marina Orth Foundation, which has created a model education program emphasizing technology, English, and also leadership in Colombia.

These native were one of the four eye-opening influences on my reasoning in my formative years. And how crucial to realize this under a totalitarian regime, which was trying to atomize society and to sow mistrust among the corpuscle in stimulate to far better control them! chairman Kennedy had actually of course to be the archenemy and also imperialist eagle in the mouth that communist propaganda, but during the Prague spring of 1968 there appeared an ext objective articles around him in the media, consisting of those beautiful concluding words of his inaugural speech. Yes, away through the humiliating submissiveness that was ours life and which led united state to a blind and passive acceptance.

—Miroslav Pospíšil, Czechia

Under communist in Czechoslovakia, Pospíšil wasan organizer of the underground university, a network the resistance to the authoritarian regime. ~ the Velvet transformation in 1989, that led the country’s leading educational foundation, hosted one the the very first Peace Corps Volunteers, and also worked come transform civil society.

It is not easy to orient everyone towards the exact same ideal, even if the ultimate score of humanity is come live in peace and prosperity. However it is imperative! How plenty of times has humanity uncovered inspiration in the example of the American people? president Kennedy referred to as on his other citizens to usage their wealth, your greatness, and their beauty beauty — which is no without danger both inside and outside the claims — because that the world. However today, more than ever, Americans have to become conscious of the danger hidden in our modern societies, whereby competition is ruthless. The little relaxation is identified with cumulative suicide. God defend America. God bless the Americans.

—Ibrahima Sankare, Mali

Sankare is director and founder that Delta Survie,a nongovernmental organization whose workreaches throughout seven countries in West Africa.He is cursed to fighting for the integration of marginalized populations and also promoting health and wellness andeducation. In 2016 Sankara was known withthe Harris Wofford worldwide Citizen Award.

President Kennedy really taken the prestige of service to structure peace and also freedom around the world. Service enables you to be generosity to others. Sacrament fosters trust and also goodness because that others and yourself. My peace Corps Volunteer experience enabled me to be of company to the Georgian people, and not just did it advantage them, however it benefited me tremendously. I’m deeply grateful for the opportunityto learn around Georgia and its people and culture.

—Chau Ly

Ly served as a Volunteer in the Republic the Georgiafrom 2018 until she to be evacuated in 2020. Sheworks v a school district within the Zuni PuebloIndian Reservation.

I believe that Americans who ask what they can do for the United claims of America room the embodiment of good citizenry. Together a teacher, ns tell people I meet that America is a kind and a generosity society. Every I have actually todo is tell my story about becoming one of the lost Boys that Sudan. I remained in a refugees camp in Kenya because that nineyears. Life in the camp to be miserable; it to be hopeless.I had read around President Kennedy; he was a visionary. America has restored my dignity and also given me a heavy education. I chose to give back by serving as a tranquility Corps Volunteer. Again and also again. It takes resilience and humility come succeed.

—Peter Kok Ter

Ter offered as a Volunteer in the Republic of Azerbaijan 2009–12, in the People’s Republic the China in 2015, and as a tranquility Corps solution Volunteer in the Republic the Georgia 2015–16.

As we start 2021, the U.S. Continues to grapple through a gyeongju reckoning, worldwide pandemic, and government transition, reaffirming the prominence of togetherness. JFK’s sentiments tho ring true today. Previously in the speech he says, “Let us begin anew—remembering ~ above both sides the civility is no a authorize of weakness.” us cannot relocate forward with each other without an initial acknowledging each person’s grievances.We must converse with those that possess a different perspective. Remembering the we space all commodities of ours environments and experiences, let us lean right into listening and also learning, so that we deserve to work together to create and also sustain equal and just liberty of every womenand men.

—Anna Cron

Cron started serving as a Volunteer in the Dominican Republic in 2019 and was evacuated in 2020. She is working towards master’s degrees in business management and international development at American University.

Not simply that the civilization is different. We now see America for what it is, other lessthan theexceptional nation. We see who we are and also who we have to be.Can we still be an example to the world?Can we do any type of less 보다 renew and also change?

—David Arnold

David Arnold served asa Volunteer in Ethiopia 1964–66 and is editor emeritus of WorldView magazine. A veteran journalist, he has been a Fulbright fellow in Pakistan and also trained elevation journalists in Kenya, Eritrea, Uganda, and also Malawi.

Gordon Radley would single out these words together speaking come the tranquility Corps community:

To those people in the huts and villages of fifty percent the globe struggling to break the bond of fixed misery, us pledge our ideal efforts to assist them assist themselves, because that whatever period is forced — not because the communists may be doing it, not since we seek their votes, but due to the fact that it is right. If a complimentary society cannot aid the many who are poor, that cannot conserve the couple of who space rich.

Within one inaugural resolve that people would parse as if it were the Gettysburg address, it would certainly be complicated to not review Kennedy’s pledge together a statement to the civilization of why he would certainly be developing a “Peace Corps” … which the did by executive order around 45 days later … within the boundaries of two sentences, Kennedy spoke directly to what to be then dubbed the third World and collection out the principles of the pledge he was making and what would certainly govern a peace Corps: We would certainly come no as “helpers” however as equals, “to help them assist themselves,” not minimal by an arbitrarily time requirement, however “for whatever duration is required”… and most crucial we come not out of some self interest but out of the moral responsibility that originates from being a citizens of the civilization … since it is right.

—Gordon Radley

Radley served as a Volunteer in Malawi 1968–70 and also as training program director inWestern Samoa before becoming president of Lucasfilm.


Ask not: Kennedy’sinaugural address. Picture courtesy the JFK Presidential Library and also Museum.

John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural resolve | The complete Speech

Watch: The inaugural address, courtesy the JFK Presidential Library and also Museum

WE OBSERVE now not a victory of party however a celebration event of freedom — symbolizing an end and a beginning — signifying renewal as well as change. For I have sworn before you and also Almighty God the same solemn oath our forbears prescribed virtually a century and three-quarters ago.

The human being is really different now. For guy holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all creates of person poverty and also all develops of person life. And yet the same revolutionary ideas for which ours forebears dealt with are still at issue about the globe — the id that the civil liberties of guy come not from the sacrament of the state however from the hand the God.

We dare not forget today that we space the heirs the that very first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and also place, come friend and also foe alike, the the torch has actually been passed come a new generation of americans — born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud that our old heritage — and also unwilling to witness or permit the sluggish undoing that those human rights to which this nation has constantly been committed, and also to i m sorry we are committed this day at home and also around the world.

Let every country know, whether it wishes united state well or ill, that us shall pay any kind of price, bear any kind of burden, meet any kind of hardship, support any friend, oppose any kind of foe to assure the survival and also the success that liberty.

This lot we pledge — and also more.

To those old allies whose social and spiritual beginnings we share, us pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United there is tiny we cannot do in a organize of cooperative ventures. Separated there is small we deserve to do — because that we dare not accomplish a powerful an obstacle at odds and split asunder.

To those new states whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word the one form of colonial control chandelier not have passed away just to be replaced by a far much more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to discover them supporting our view. Yet we shall constantly hope to find them strongly sustaining their own flexibility — and to mental that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by speak the ago of the tiger finished up inside.

To those civilization in the huts and villages of fifty percent the world struggling to rest the binding of massive misery, we pledge our best efforts to aid them aid themselves, because that whatever duration is required — not because the communists might be doing it, not since we look for their votes, but because it is right. If a totally free society cannot aid the many who room poor, the cannot save the few who are rich.

To our sister republics southern of ours border, we market a one-of-a-kind pledge — to convert our great words into an excellent deeds — in a brand-new alliance for progress — to assist complimentary men and free governments in spreading off the chain of poverty. However this peaceful change of expect cannot become the food of enemy powers. Let all our neighbors know that we shall join with lock to protest aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas. And also let every various other power know that this Hemisphere intends to continue to be the master of its own house.

To that civilization assembly of sovereign states, the unified Nations, ours last best hope in period where the tools of war have far outpaced the tools of peace, we renew ours pledge of assistance — to avoid it from ending up being merely a forum for invective — to strengthen its shield of the brand-new and the weak — and also to enlarge the area in i beg your pardon its writ might run.

Finally, come those countries who would certainly make us our adversary, we offer not a pledge yet a request: the both sides begin anew the pursuit for peace, prior to the dark strength of devastation unleashed by science engulf all humanity in plan or inadvertently self-destruction.

We dare no tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms room sufficient past doubt have the right to we be particular beyond doubt that they will never be employed.

But neither have the right to two good and an effective groups of nations take lull from our existing course — both political parties overburdened by the price of modern weapons, both rightly alarmed through the steady spread out of the deadly atom, yet both racing to alter that uncertain balance the terror that continues to be the hand of mankind"s final war.

So permit us start anew — mental on both sides the civility is not a authorize of weakness, and sincerity is constantly subject to proof. Allow us never negotiate out of fear. But let united state never are afraid to negotiate.

Let both sides discover what difficulties unite us rather of belaboring those problems which division us.

Let both sides, because that the very first time, formulate significant and an exact proposals for the inspection and control of eight — and bring the absolute power to damage other countries under the absolute manage of all nations.

Let both sides look for to invoke the marvels of science instead of that is terrors. Together let us explore the stars, dominate the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths and encourage the arts and commerce.

Let both sides unite to heed in every corners the the earth the command of Isaiah — to “undo the heavy burdens … (and) allow the oppressed go free.”

And if a beachhead of teamwork may push ago the tropical of suspicion, let both sides join in producing a brand-new endeavor, no a brand-new balance of power, but a brand-new world the law, where the solid are just and also the weak secure and also the peace preserved.

All this will not be finished in the very first one hundreds days. Nor will it be perfect in the an initial one thousand days, no one in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let united state begin.

In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will remainder the last success or fail of our course. Since this nation was founded, every generation the Americans has actually been summoned to offer testimony to its national loyalty. The tombs of young Americans who answered the contact to organization surround the globe.


Inaugural moment. Photograph courtesy of JFK Presidential Library and also Museum.

Now the trumpet summons us again — no as a call to be affected by each other arms, though eight we require — not as a call to battle, despite embattled we room — yet a call to be affected by each other the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation” — a struggle against the typical enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, condition and war itself.

Can we forge versus these enemies a cool and worldwide alliance, North and South, East and West, that deserve to assure a an ext fruitful life for every mankind? will certainly you join in that historic effort?

In the long background of the world, only a couple of generations have actually been granted the duty of defending flexibility in its hour of maximum danger. I execute not shrink indigenous this responsibility — ns welcome it. I carry out not believe that any type of of united state would exchange places with any other people or any kind of other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion i m sorry we lug to this undertaking will light our country and also all that serve it — and the bright from the fire can truly irradiate the world.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask no what your country can execute for friend — asking what you deserve to do for your country.

My other citizens that the world: ask no what America will carry out for you, but what with each other we can do because that the liberty of man.

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Finally, even if it is you room citizens that America or citizen of the world, asking of us right here the exact same high criter of strength and also sacrifice which us ask the you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with background the final judge of our deeds, let united state go soon to lead the land us love, asking His blessing and also His help, but knowing that below on planet God’s work must truly be our own.