Posted by: Ron DuBour | September 18, 2020

Knowing your American Heroes  ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917- 1963) ~ by rldubour



Knowing your American Heroes

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917- 1963)

 John F. Kennedy 1917-1963


Born in Brookline, Massachusetts

May twenty-ninth at three p.m.

To Rose and Joseph Kennedy

Lived there until the age of ten.


He was a Boy Scout in Troop 2

From twenty-nine to thirty-one

Would grow up to be our President

No other Scout has ever done.


In nineteen-forty graduated

From Harvard University.

In forty-one enlisted

In the United States Navy.


Earned the rank of lieutenant

Commanded a patrol torpedo boat.

Rammed by a Japanese destroyer

He kept an injured man afloat.


In forty-six involved in politics

A Congressman then Senator Kennedy.

Married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier

On September twelfth in nineteen-fifty-three.


Sworn in as the 35th President

On January twentieth, nineteen sixty-one.

Facing Domestic and Foreign policies

A great task has now begun.


At home he fought for Civil Rights

Immigration and the Space Program

Afar was faced with Iraq

Cuban Missile Crises and Vietnam.


On November twenty-second

At 12:30pm in sixty-three.

An assassin in Dallas, Texas

Took the life of John F Kennedy.


Stole him from our Nation

And his wife Jacqueline.

Also from his son and daughter

John Junior and Caroline.


Buried in Arlington National Cemetery

His grave is lit with an “Eternal Flame.”

A hero for our country

Forever will live his name.


AUTHOR NOTES: Kennedy was born at 83 Beals Street in Brookline, Massachusetts on Tuesday, May 29, 1917, at 3:00 p.m., the second son of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., and Rose Fitzgerald; Rose, in turn, was the eldest child of John “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald, a prominent Boston political figure who was the city’s mayor and a three-term member of Congress. Kennedy lived in Brookline for his first ten years. He attended Brookline’s public Edward Devotion School from kindergarten through the beginning of 3rd grade, then Noble and Greenough Lower School and its successor, the Dexter School, a private school for boys, through 4th grade. He attended Riverdale Country School, a private school for boys in Riverdale, for 5th through 7th grade. He was a member of Scout Troop 2 at Bronxville from 1929 to 1931 and was to be the first Scout to become President. For 8th grade in September 1930, Kennedy was sent fifty miles away to Canterbury School, a lay Catholic boarding school for boys in New Milford, Connecticut. In late April 1931, he had appendicitis requiring an appendectomy, after which he withdrew from Canterbury and recuperated at home. In September 1931, Kennedy was sent over sixty miles away to The Choate School, an elite private university preparatory boarding school for boys in Wallingford, Connecticut for 9th through 12th grade. In September 1936 he enrolled as a freshman at Harvard College, residing in Winthrop House during his sophomore through senior years. He graduated cum laude from Harvard with a degree in international affairs in June 1940, and his thesis was published in July 1940 as a book entitled Why England Slept, and became a bestseller. On August 2, 1943, Kennedy’s boat, the PT-109, was taking part in a nighttime patrol near New Georgia in the Solomon Islands. It was rammed by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri. Kennedy was thrown across the deck, injuring his already-troubled back. Nonetheless, he swam, towing a wounded man, to an island and later to a second island where his crew was subsequently rescued. Kennedy married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier on September 12, 1953. After World War II, John Fitzgerald Kennedy considered becoming a journalist before deciding to run for political office. Prior to the war, he hadn’t really considered becoming a politician because the family had already pinned its political hopes on his older brother, Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Joseph, however, was killed in World War II, making John tops in seniority. When in 1946 U.S. Representative James Michael Curley vacated his seat in an overwhelmingly Democratic district to become mayor of Boston, Kennedy ran for the seat, beating his Republican opponent by a large margin. He was a congressman for six years but had a mixed voting record, often diverging from President Harry S. Truman and the rest of the Democratic Party. In 1952, he defeated incumbent Republican Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. for the U.S. Senate. John F. Kennedy was sworn in as the 35th President at noon on January 20, 1961. In his inaugural address he spoke of the need for all Americans to be active citizens, famously saying, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” He also asked the nations of the world to join together to fight what he called the “common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.” In closing, he expanded on his desire for greater internationalism: “Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you.” President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time on November 22, 1963, while on a political trip through Texas. He was pronounced dead at 1:00 p.m. Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested, in a theatre about 80 minutes after the assassination and was charged by Dallas police for the murder of Dallas policeman J.D. Tippit, before eventually being charged for the murder of Kennedy. Oswald denied shooting anyone, claiming he was a patsy, and was killed by Jack Ruby before he could be indicted or tried. On March 14, 1967, Kennedy’s body was moved to a permanent burial place and memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. Kennedy is buried with his wife and their deceased minor children, and his brother, the late Senator Robert Kennedy is also buried nearby. His grave is lit with an “Eternal Flame”. In the film The Fog of War, then Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara claims that he picked the location in the cemetery — a location which Jackie agreed was suitable. Kennedy and William Howard Taft are the only two U.S. Presidents buried at Arlington. John F. Kennedy had 2 children that survived infancy. Caroline was born in 1957 and John Jr. was born in 1960, just a few weeks after his father was elected. John died in 1999. Caroline is currently the only surviving member of JFK’s immediate family.









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