Kennedy inauguration column right on the money

Published 8:17 am Friday, February 4, 2011

To the Editor:

Tony Clark’s column on John Kennedy’s inauguration (“We still have a chance to do something good for our country,” Jan. 23), now over 50 years ago, is amazingly accurate and perceptive.

One of the great memories of my life is standing in the snow no more than 100 yards from John Kennedy as he gave his inaugural address and from Robert Frost as he read “The Gift Outright.”

Tony may be right that the blazing sun made it impossible for Mr. Frost to read his great poem, but my recollection is that the cold January wind made it impossible for him to read and he, even in the eighth decade of his life, could recite his famous poem with no difficulty whatsoever.

Although we will never know how great John Kennedy could have been, and although it must be acknowledged that he was human and suffered from imperfections as all of us do, his speech that day made all of us lucky enough to have heard it overcome with enthusiasm at being Americans.

I am proud every day to be an American, but when I close my eyes and hear and see John Kennedy’s speech again, I am even prouder.

Good job, Tony!

Richard E. Railey Jr.