The Inaugural Address of John F. Kennedy

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Updated: Mar 14, 2023
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Category: History
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On January 20, 1961, President John F. Kennedy gave his influential Inaugural Address. The American people including President Eisenhower were there to witness this eye-opening speech. Kennedy shared his general goals and set an inspiring tone for the members of his administration both at home and abroad. Kennedy uses a balanced structure that consists of effective words and phrases in order to impact the audience and highlight peace between countries, abolish poverty, and remind the American people of the freedom that our forefathers fought for. All of which are demonstrated with literary devices.

Throughout Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, he highlighted peace between countries and inspired us to foster this peace between each other. “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”, he said. These words might actually be the most inspirational words throughout the whole speech because they tell us to do anything in order to keep world peace. “This much we pledge–and more”.

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Money, for example, is a crucial product to all world economies. It pays for life’s necessities. Without money, there’s poverty. And that’s where President John F. Kennedy hit us hard. In his speech, he raised awareness on human poverty and said. “For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty…”. Now, that’s a bold thing to say since the United States has a pretty large poverty rate (13.9%). “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich”. Money is earned by employment or having a job. Many people in the country can’t hold a job. Therefore, they live in poverty.

When it comes down to it, we, as Americans, want to be free. “We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom…”, Kennedy announced. “Let the word go forth from this 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 hard and bitter peace…”. Kennedy described us as a “new generation”, meaning we have the choice to build or destroy o ur country. We have the choice to elect a President who will free us, not confine us. We have the choice to stand together, as a nation and never be divided.

In conclusion, President John F. Kennedy was a man with many inspiring words that impacted our nation greatly. His focus was always on this broken country and his goal was to bring this divided nation together. In his speech, he recognized our lack of peace, the need to abolish poverty, and of the freedom that our country was founded on.

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The Inaugural Address of John F. Kennedy. (2020, Feb 08). Retrieved from