Category: Archive

Editorial: JFK’s legacy

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

It’s 35 years this week since John F. Kennedy was cruelly gunned down in Dallas. For millions of people in America and around the world, the assassination of the president remains a kind of benchmark. There was the world before JFK and the world after him. Memories apart, we all of us live in a very different time to 1963. But given that we are assessing a period twice as long this week- – the Echo’s 70 year history — it would do well to pause a moment and allow due acknowledgment of John Kennedy’s role in the renaissance of Irish America so evident in this decade.

Kennedy’s winning of the presidency and his actions as president are usually studied in a general American or global political context. But in a purely Irish-American sense, his election, his all-too-brief 1,000 days in office, and the lasting legacy he has bequeathed to us all amount to the kind of psychological shot in the arm that may well indeed have played a crucial nurturing role in all that we’ve seen and praised in the last 10 years or so. After what Kennedy achieved, just about anything was possible. And many, very many, took note.

In that regard, we should celebrate JFK’s life and achievements this week even as we pause to recall his tragic passing.

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