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A Speech That United the Nation


A Speech That United the Nation

Two-hundred and thirty-seven years ago, United States was declared independent. During these years, fifty-seven inauguration speeches were held with thirty-nine United States President. Each of them came through numerous conflicts and crises. However, each President ensured the society to live with comfort and ease. Nonetheless, some succeeded, some failed. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was one of the eminences. Although serving for less than one-thousand days, Kennedy’s inaugural touched the entire society and influenced the world under the tension of the Cold War. Elected to be the youngest President at the age merely forty-three and to be the first Catholic President, Kennedy delivered his inaugural with extra emotion. Like Lincoln, one of the attributes that they share was their smooth, consistent, and eloquent talent to express what they wanted to bring in their speeches. In Kennedy’s inauguration speech, he focused on two main points. First, many of his lines appealed support from the crowd. Second, with his natural ability, Kennedy brought contentment and emotion into his speech. These factors eased the society under the stress that they had to suffer. Because of his delivery, President John F. Kennedy’s speech still stood tall as a model for future Presidents for its simplicity and emotional tension that it brought to the society. Therefore, Kennedy’s speech was undeniably the most significant speech ever given among the rest.

On January 20, 1961, when President John F. Kennedy was elected into the position, he delivered one of the most eminent and memorial inaugural addresses in the history of United States. Looking to calm the crowd after the rise of the Soviets, Kennedy spoke distinctly of the United States as a limitless dominance. He brought forth the citizens to support their government and themselves for every aspect. During the address, not only did Kennedy drove the Americans to defend for their freedom and Democracy but he also introduced a new period of adjustment, while promoting patriotism and international support. Kennedy also accentuated that his success in the presidential election should be considered as a “celebration” that symbolized an end and a rebirth, as well as a fresh initiation of development. This was an extremely credible appeal since it directly displayed that he was not arrogant at all, and that he put the nation as his priority. Also, Kennedy made it clear that he would “pay any price, bear any burden, and meet any hardship” in order to “assure the survival and success of liberty”, yet arguing that resolutions were definitely necessary to prevent tragedies. Contrariwise, he was also arguing that men could be disastrous and the society was the key factor for the renewal. Furthermore, Kennedy argued that the conflict against “enemies of man” needed to be overcame in peaceful methods, like "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation.” It was also evident that Kennedy emphasized cooperation between the “North and South, East and West” was doubtlessly needed to ensure a better life. One of the most known lines that Kennedy had delivered—“Ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man”, saying that only if the people contribute could the nation improve. Thus, in the last line of his speech, Kennedy restated that uniting “both sides”, to “explore what problems unite us…” to escape the “the dark powers of destruction…” were the methods in which mankind could prosper. Constantly mentioning God in his inaugural, Kennedy strengthened his argument for global peace and hope since almost all Americans believed in God; therefore, Kennedy reminded Americans that their rights came from God, not the state, and they should be gratified with this gift.

While the globe was divided into Democracy and Communism and with Cold War in action, Kennedy proposed his inaugural, persuading the world that it was time to change. This address was proved very convincing for its spread across globally along with Kennedy enhancing the United States as a nation that will unite all people regardless of their religion, class, or ethnicity. In addition, JFK`s urge for both the citizens and the nation to step out into the world to keep equality and peace in all nations successfully made his argument coherent since racism, segregation, war, and poverty, were crippling the world at that time. Moreover, with Kennedy imposing the audience to “…ask what you can do for your country” and questioning the globe to “…what together we can do for the freedom of man”, Kennedy offered a sense of pride and responsibility to the society to take action towards a peaceful generation and allow nations to coalesce together to confer feasible resolutions instead of war, as well as to aid each other to attain goals and flourish for the benefit of humankind. Kennedy also delivered a request that both sides could begin a new plan for peace, before either planned catastrophes or accidental crises killed us all. This was definitely an offensive statement to the Soviet Union. Kennedy showed that he knew there was tension between the two nations, but he favored more in resolving it than involving in a war that would ultimately cause unimaginable consequences. The idea of regeneration and hope brought by Kennedy also made his address very emotional and touching. One of the most touching lines in his speech demonstrated his stubbornness when he stated “Let every nation know…that we shall pay any price …to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” This indicated that the success of liberty and justice was by far the most important to Kennedy since it defined “what was established by our forebears”, or forefathers. Furthermore, Kennedy’s address proved to be heavily convincing since he utilized the self-esteem and the sense of nationalism in all audience with pleas for national support. After he brought forth previous Americans’ loyalty to their country, Kennedy made an authentic declaration, “…not as a call to bear arms…not as a call to battle…but a call to bear the burden …”, which made his requests seemed less demanding while explicitly inspiring Americans.

Lastly, Kennedy’s request for action were moving and inspiring Americans and people of all nations, and those emotions built up due to the syntax of his address. When he stated with the repetition of the phrase “Let both sides”, he kept sole ideas managing and flowing, acting as pleas to other countries, and created the concept in the audience that any country that refused the offer would be contemptible. In history, there were numerous inaugurals proposed my numerous Presidents. However, it was a fact that Kennedy’s inaugural still remained significant. It presented a broad idea with authority that the nation could age and the requirement of a firm, charismatic ruler was inevitably needed. Kennedy was confident that the society of the United States would look upon their leaders in situations of crises for embracement and comfort. Nonetheless, in that period, the society went to John Fitzgerald Kennedy and what they got from him was more than amenity. In sum, Kennedy’s inaugural depicted that, and further on would Kennedy’s inaugural remain solid in the United States history.


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"John F. Kennedy."SparkNotes. SparkNotes. Web. 6 Jan. 2015.

"What Made JFK's Inaugural Address so Effective?"Rhetorical Devices in JFK Inaugural Address. Web. 6 Jan. 2015.

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